If you want to make a “great” wine in the current German-wine hierarchy, you have two options.
If you want to make a top dry, you have to call it a “GG.”
If you want to make a grand off-dry, well, you gotta go to the top, or at least BA or Auslese Gold Capsule. This is where the media attention is; this is where the money is.
What happens though, if you want to see what the absolute top parcel of a vineyard could do with a Kabinett? What if you have a grape, and it’s the greatest grape in the world, but you think its destiny is for a Spätlese?
It’s a philosophical question that comes with very real financial consequences.
For example, take a grape, let’s say from Abtserde, and make a GG, and if your name is Klaus Peter and Julia Keller, well, you know you’re going to have a bottle that sells easily at $150+. Take that same damn grape and make a Spätlese and people’s eyebrows are going to go up even if the wine is half the cost.
But this is exactly what’s happened. And the reason it’s happened is because KP and Julia Keller are bad asses and they listen to the vineyard and ignore the paradigm. They are also passionate wine drinkers and Mosel wine fanatics (KP often says he has Mosel wine in his blood, his mother having come from the Mosel).
They wanna see what a top, top, top Abtserde Spätlese would taste like. They wanna drink it.
F the money. F the paradigm.
The 2016 Abtserde Spätlese on offer today comes from the exact grapes Keller uses for the GG, yet there is a bit further editing as the grapes are exclusively taken from the upper part of the vineyard, to help make the wine as precise and mineral as possible. Keller hates it when I ask him about the numbers, but still, for those of you that speak this language, you’ll understand something about the wine when you know it was harvested at just over 90 Oe with more than 10 grams acid. This is a lightning bolt of a wine.
The 2016 Pettenthal Kabinett comes from a top parcel in the Pettenthal – the same grapes that were partly made into a Pettenthal GG that will be auctioned in the fall of 2017. Keller will also send to this auction this Kabinett’s brother, the Hipping, and it will sell for more than 100 Euro a bottle, easily. Harvested at 84 Oe with nearly 11 grams acid. Here’s to making razor blades seem dull.