Germany – Rheinhessen
The prestigious Keller estate is located in the small town of Flörsheim-Dalsheim in the Rheinhessen wine-growing region of Germany and it has been in the family for over 220 years. Klaus-Peter and Julia Keller have plots in the following vineyard sites: Frauenberg, Bürgel and Hubacker (the village of Dalsheim), Silberberg (Monsheim), as well as Kirchspiel, Abtserde, Morstein (Westhofen) and Pettanthal (Nierstein).
The whole Keller 18ha estate crops lower than 35hl/ha, lower than many Grand Cru vineyards in Burgundy! Many vines were planted in the 50’s and 60’s. Dual vignerons, Klaus-Peter and his wife Julia turn conventional wisdom upside down by slowing photosynthesis to achieve a long. slow, ripening period.
The rigorous berry and bunch selection in the vineyard [for the dry wines no botrytis is wanted] enables long skin-contact [with crushed berries], up to 24 hours, in the cellar prior to fermentation. This process enables greater flavour extraction, but excess phenolic extraction [giving hardness or oiliness] is always a risk. In Keller’s case, perfect fruit, great flavour concentration and careful vinification mitigate this risk. A mixture of old oak barrels and stainless steel tanks are used for fermentation.
Klaus-Peter is not afraid to ferment at higher-than-normal temperatures, up to 24ºc, and employs ageing on fine yeast lees (until March for the top wines), and uses mostly wood vats of 1,800-2,400lt.
Keller Pius Beerenauslese 2016
“It’s an interesting wine. Unctuous, sweet, quite cheesy, with mango, honey and apricot. Intense acidity, barley sugar, lavish sweetness, and a thick viscous finish with spice, dried mango and plenty of savoury/cheese kind of stuff. Interesting. It’s a wine that may well spark a conversation at either the start or end of a dinner. I like it.” – 92 Points Gary Walsh, WineFront.com.au
Keller Riesling Von der Fels 2016
“Savoury, smoky, almost cheesy scents over green apple sorbet, mango and lime, but as ever with Keller, it’s the texture that gets you involved. This is particularly chalky, crunchy and interesting, with that gin and tonic granita freshness/bitterness on the long finish. Wunderbar.” – 94+ Points Gary Walsh, WineFront.com.au
Keller Gruner Silvaner Trocken 2016
“Stony and slightly smoky, flowers, cut radish and pepper, citrus and apple. Light and fresh, spicy and flinty, juiciness with restraint, cool stony finish of satisfying length. What a wonderful drink this is in 2016! So refreshing and good.” – 93 Points Gary Walsh, WineFront.com.au
Keller Riesling Trocken 2016
“Crunchy and explosive, but don’t be scared. Lime and green apple, intensity and power through the mid-palate, a chalky texture, stony acidity, and a long savoury and tart finish tweaked with a citrus zest and quinine bitterness. Complex and delicious even now.” – 94 Points Gary Walsh, WineFront.com.au