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Average critic rating : 91.0 points
From younger vines in the Kirchspiel and (in lesser proportions) Hubacker and Morstein, Keller 2007 Riesling trocken von der Fels offers perfume, lift and clarity – encompassing a vivid sense of chalkiness – that go well beyond the estate’s basic Riesling bottling. Gardenia, orange blossom, lime, and quince, as well as toasted almond and pistachio fill the nose; lusciously juicy fruit, inner-mouth floral perfume, and piquant nuttiness fill the palate; and a seemingly incongruous yet in practice not at all inharmonious alternation of nut cream and mocha with invigorating tart berry skin and citrus fill out a finish marked also by chalky and saline mineral suggestions. This should remain fascinating and delicious for at least the next 6-8 years. ||Klaus-Peter Keller has acquired in time for the 2009 vintage a piece of Nierstein’s famous red Rhine shore slopes, but while he is obviously excited by the prospects he is anxious to remind me that “in the 15th Century, the bishops in Worms were not drinking wine from the Red Slope, but rather an aptes erden” – an allusion to the Abtserde vineyard, from which he began rendering dedicated Riesling in 2006 – “and they were certainly very savvy.” Keller considers 2007 “the most successful vintage in Germany for dry wine in a long while,” and when pressed admits he means an unprecedented vintage, since in his opinion he and his colleagues have been on a steep learning curve and were less well-positioned to take full advantage of past vintages that might have been theoretically ideally suited to Riesling trocken. Today, he says, he aims to “achieve slimness and elegance as well as ripeness.” Keller’s relentless pursuit of quality is encompassing longer cask maturation and later release of his best dry wines as well as experimentation in both red and sweet wine methodology. (Note that for all of the Keller 2007s I have tasted, there are also Auslesen from Hubacker and Morstein; a T.B.A. from Hubacker; and several other wines that I did not have chance to experience.) Judging by Keller’s three Pinots – tasted from barrel, and then from bottle – for him, at least, this is a vintage of exceptional potential in red as well.||Imported by Sussex Wine Merchants, Moorestown, NJ; tel. (856) 608 9644, Dee Vine Wines, San Francisco, CA tel. (877) 389-9463, and Frances Rose Imports Inc., Huntley, IL; tel. (815) 382 9533 eRobertParker.com.October, 2009
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