Weiser-Kunstler

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Country of Origin: Germany
Location: Traben-Trarbach, Middle Mosel
People: Konstantin Weiser & Alexandra Künstler, Owners & Winemakers
Viticulture: Practicing Organic

Items

Weiser-Kunstler 2019 Riesling Feinerb, Mosel Login WA 90 MFW 90 In Stock
Weiser-Kunstler 2018 Riesling Kabinett, Schlossberg, Mosel Login MFW 91 WA (90 - 92) AG 90 In Stock



From some of the most demanding vineyard sites in the world, the meditative and humble Konstantin Weiser and Alexandra Künstler craft magical wines unlike any other estate in Germany. Stylistically, their Rieslings are delicate, porcelain, detailed, mineral and pure. The focus is on Mosel Rieslings with noticeable residual sugar (Prädikat wines), but they make excellent dry and off-dry Rieslings as well. In other words, Weiser-Künstler does it all, and does it all beautifully. The dry Rieslings are razor sharp, more about mineral, salt and flower than about fruit. They feel like porcelain in their weight and purity. The Prädikat wines are “old school,” with lower amounts of residual sugar and higher amounts of acidity than most. They shiver with tension and acidity and remain fresh, agile and versatile. While this estate remains an insider’s secret, this is changing and every year demand rises. Supply, however, does not.

Founded in 2005, this tiny estate of just over three hectares is located in Traben-Trarbach, which is downstream from the famous “Hollywood” section of the Middle Mosel. Around the turn of the 20th century, Traben-Trarbach was one of the wealthiest towns in the Mosel. It was the heart of the Mosel Riesling trade. Mosel Rieslings during this time were considered the greatest wines in the world. Much of the grand architecture of Traben-Trarbach was built during this period. The stunning Jugendstil (“Art Nouveau”) Hotel Bellevue is perhaps the most iconic building of the village. This is an era that seems to inform much of the feel of Weiser-Künstler. The labels of this estate take their cue from the Jugendstil designers. The owl on the label represents wisdom, a reference to Konstantin's last name, Weiser.

Most importantly, the dawn of the 20th century was the height of fame for the vineyards that Weiser-Künstler now own and farm. The Lintz map of the Mosel from 1897 details the three key vineyards of Weiser-Künstler (Ellergrub, Gaispfad (spelled Geispfad on old maps) and Steffensberg) as grand cru sites (view map in image gallery). As a whole, this stretch is quainter than the grand amphitheaters of Piesport or Trittenheim, but it is every bit their equal. Traben-Trarbach fell into obscurity in the latter half of the 20th century, with many vineyards going abandoned. Therefore, the vines near Traben-Trarbach have not seen the “modernization” that many sites in the Mosel have. The vineyards still have their jutting, ladder-like terraces. The vines on these terraces are very old, ungrafted and high-density planted. This area of the Middle Mosel, literally, has roots that run very deep. One can taste that profundity in the wines.

Weiser-Künstler is a member of Der Klitzkleine Ring, which is a small circle of growers who show their wines together and labor in saving plots of old, precious Riesling vines on steep, slate slopes from being cut down. Konstantin and Alexandra are preserving the ancient terraces of Traben-Trarbach. They are in the vineyards daily, and it is obvious that they are most comfortable in their vineyards. They farm their vines organically and biodynamically with organic certification in the works. Because of stonewalls and the steepness of the sites, all the work has to be done by hand with a hoe.

Fermentation occurs spontaneously with native yeast in the cold cellar underneath their property. After brief skin contact (helping to reduce acidity), pressing occurs in an old pneumatic Willmes press. Stainless steel vats, old oak Fuder and second-hand barriques are used to influence structure. "Stainless steel better keeps the acidity, and wood helps to round it out," Konstantin says.

Vineyard Information: Gaispfad is adjacent to Ellergrub on the same, stony, southwest- and west-facing escarpment, known as the Starkenburger Hang. The slate soil here has more iron oxide than Ellergrub and is some redder slate, along with gray-blue slate and quartz. Steffensberg is a south-facing hillside vineyard in a side valley. It's at the lower end of the Ahringsbach, behind Enkirch, where the deep topsoil has plenty of iron oxide. Their choice parcel is in Ellergrub—a top vineyard site in the Middle Mosel. This steep, terraced slope consisting primarily of blue and gray slate, along with quartz, is the heart of the Weiser-Künstler property. The ungrafted Riesling vines located here are up to 100 years old.

David Rayer & Jean Fish, Mosel Fine Wine Review
“These are consistently among the top wines produced anywhere in the Mosel, made from painstakingly strict selections from prime steep vineyards planted with old ungrafted vines. Yet prices remain moderate… Savvy readers should plunge on these wines.”


Wine Advocate 8/13/2020
"his is one of my favorite Riesling producers in the Mosel. Konstantin Weiser and Alexandra Künstler, based in Traben-Trarbach, handcraft beautiful Mosel classics: bright, refined and filigreed Rieslings with the purest terroir expression in every single discipline, from dry to sweet."


Vinous 6/22/2017
"Whether bone dry, off-dry or overtly sweet, the Weiser-Künstler wines are characterized by energy, levity and clarity. Gentle handling of the young wines with minimal filtration and modest levels of sulfur all no doubt play positive roles. But there can be little question that the decisive factors are meticulousness in the vineyards – featuring creative and labor-intensive variations on organic viticulture – and the choice of parcels, many of whose vines are nearly old enough to recall the Fin de Siècle era when this stretch of Mosel enjoyed a reputation rivaled by few others."

Reviews

  • Weiser-Kunstler 2018 Riesling Kabinett, Schlossberg, Mosel
    Mosel Fine Wines
    Rating: 91 (6/10/2019)

    The 2018er Trarbacher Schlossberg Riesling Kabinett was harvested at 92° Oechsle on the original Schlossberg hill, and was fermented down to fully fruity-styled levels of residual sugar. It offers a delicately broad nose made of coconut, apricot blossom, strawberry, dried herbs and fine spices. The wine develops the playful presence of a Spätlese on the palate, where apricot blossom and dried herbs play with the mild feeling of acidity. The finish is smooth, inviting and juicy. 2023-2038
  • Weiser-Kunstler 2018 Riesling Kabinett, Schlossberg, Mosel
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: (90 - 92) (6/28/2019)

    The 2018 Trarbacher Schlossberg Riesling Kabinett shows a clear and elegant bouquet of fully ripe fruit aromas intermixed with slatey notes. Lush and generous but precise and even filigreed on the palate, this is a seductive, very aromatic and fruity Kabinett with Spätlese features. The finish is crunchy and well-structured with fine phenols. A fabulous wine but more like a Spätlese rather than a Kabinett. Tasted in March 2019.
  • Weiser-Kunstler 2018 Riesling Kabinett, Schlossberg, Mosel
    Vinous
    Rating: 90 (8/13/2020)

    Harvested from fruits of even higher must weight than informed the corresponding Ellergrub, this is also significantly sweeter and softer, so that one could be forgiven for lodging the complaint that it isn’t “genuine” Kabinett. “Maybe we were a couple of days late in picking this,” conceded Weiser, who adds that he and Künstler are still in the process of determining the best approach in this relatively warm site. All of that having been noted there is plenty of appeal on tap here. Ripe Persian melon and strawberry on the nose mingle lusciously on the buoyant, polished palate, and the finish is a model of purity and soothing richness, even if lacking a bit for animation or any clearly mineral dimension. I would simply treat this as a relatively sweet, soothing Spätlese and enjoy it on the (chronologically) young side.
  • Weiser-Kunstler 2019 Riesling Feinerb, Mosel
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 90 (8/13/2020)

    Sourced from Traben-Trarbach, Wolf and Enkirch, Weiser-Künstlers's 2019 Riesling comes along with 10.5% alcohol and opens to a still reductive and yeasty bouquet with discreet fruit intermixed with filigreed slate and even very fine seed and mocha aromas. Light and filigreed on the palate, the 2019 tastes dry and fresh and reveals juicy, delicate fruit with fine grip on the dry and crispy finish.
  • Weiser-Kunstler 2019 Riesling Feinerb, Mosel
    Mosel Fine Wines
    Rating: 90 (6/30/2020)

    The 2019er Riesling Weiser-Ku?nstler is a barely off-dry wine made from Estate’s holdings and from grapes sourced at a befriended organic grower in the Enkircher Steffensberg. It offers a delicately spicy and refreshing nose of citrusy fruits, minty herbs, green apple, orange blossom, peach, and tangerine. The wine starts off with a hint of sweetness on the palate, but this sensation is quickly wrapped into some gorgeous acidity. The finish is superbly vibrant but also still on the youthful side. This beautiful dry-tasting wine only needs a bit of bottle aging to give it a chance to integrate its components and fully shine. 2022-2029