For the 2015 vintage, I received 37 cases of Hild’s Elbling “Zehnkommanull.”
To me, these are sacred cases, sourced from a few hectares of old-vine, terraced Elbling vineyards. This is less “winemaking” and more “cultural preservation.” Let’s be serious, working old-vine, terraced vineyards of Riesling in the middle Mosel is financially precarious; working old-vine, terraced Elbling in the upper Mosel is equal parts insane and romantic.
But the question you are likely asking yourself right now is: “What the hell is Elbling?”
Elbling is one of the oldest indigenous grapes of Europe, brought to the Mosel and planted by the Romans a few thousand years ago. In the late 18th century, the grape was nearly all ripped out in favor of Riesling, but a few hectares remain in a tiny, limestone-rich corner of the Mosel river, near Luxembourg and France.
Without the sort of terraced-vineyard activism that Matthais Hild and his son Jonas are leading, these vines, this place, this language, would go dormant… forever. This is a history that should be preserved.
And so it is that we have a $20-retail, ultra-rare, Elbling super-cuvée. Go figure.
Think of the wine as a Muscadet of the Mosel, with its stone-riddled, floral/herbal and citrus tones. The “Zehnkommanull” (which translates to “10 point 0”) is called thus because, even bone dry, it never ferments to more than 10% ABV. That is the magic of old vines – phenolic ripeness without excess sugar. This is an ultra-light white, a quivering, angelic, porcelain wine with glossy, razor-sharp edges and a laser-beam lemon-skin citrus. The structure, the saturating acidity, the tapering finesse and needle-point fine-ness of the wine showcase its relation to that “other” grape of the Mosel, Riesling.
If at one point Elbling was planted all through the Mosel and Rhine valleys, today it is an endangered species. It is a rarity. This tiny pocket in the upper Mosel, to my knowledge, is the last place on earth where Elbling remains in any significant quantity.
Hopefully this will change. But even if it doesn’t, you’re going to hear me shouting about this place.
There are 31.58 cases of the Zehncommanull available. It will be sold first-come, first-served. If you miss the Zehnkommanull, please consider one of Hild’s other Elblings. All wine is in stock NOW and ready to ship. If you are interested in ordering PLEASE REPLY TO THIS EMAIL and let us know how many bottles/cases you would want. We’ll take your order and put you in touch with someone who stocks the wine near-ish to you.
With thanks, Stephen Bitterolf
2015 Elbling “Zehnkommanull” – about $20-$22 retail
This is the wine featured above, made from old-vine Elbling sourced exclusively from terraced vineyards; everything is done by hand. This is the most elegant, mineral and finessed Elbling I’ve ever had in my life, period. For realz.
2015 Elbling “Spontan” – about $18-$20 retail
Naturally fermented Elbling; steep vineyards but they are not terraced and can therefore be mechanically harvested.
2015 Elbling – about $14-$16 retail