Koehler Ruprecht Kallstadter Riesling Kabinett Trocken 2018
From what I have tasted this summer I can say that 2018 is a terrific vintage for the Saumagen and nothing less than spectacular for Koehler-Ruprecht, with stunningly pure and refreshing wines… STEPHAN REINHARDT, Wine Advocate
German vintage 2018 – best ever?
It would probably be the understatement of the year to say that 2018 has been a good year for German vine growers. MICHAEL SCHMIDT, jancisrobinson.com
2018, the vintage whose white wines are just being released, was the best one many growers can remember, for both quality and quantity JANCIS ROBINSON MW
2018 takes its place in a series with 1911, 1959 and 2001. These wines were the driest years in our region in the last 100 years, and can be counted among the greats. KLAUS-PETER KELLER
I think it’s fair to say that the wines of Koehler Ruprecht have a cult following, a term much overused in the wine industry. I think it’s also fair to point out I haven’t always been a fan. The ideals the Pfalz estate are run by represent the best of what it means to make wine. Carefully considered vineyard practices to ensure one works as closely as possible with the soil and the environment in which your vines grow. No additions during the vinification. A drive to produce wines that most clearly represent their vineyards in the bottle with as little interference or artifice as possible. However, for me, for years I found the wines lacked freshness and at times were overbearing. All that has changed now, not the standards or the dedication to vineyard or wine but there has been a refreshing change in some of the winemaking that is no yielding some of the more beautifully transparent and clearly defined wines in the region. The turn around reminds me a little of the recent change in tack and Pichler, the wines were always great and the commitment to quality unquestioned, but perhaps the style didn’t translate from the idea.
Anyway, I don’t want to bury the lead. This wine is absolutely outstanding! Fresh, so primary it’s almost juicy, wholly enticing and with a little phenolic twist that pulls everything in to focus. Crisp and as refreshing as a spring water. Really, for a Kabinett it’s about as good as it gets and it is sensational value when you consider the sheer class of the juice in the bottle.
The change in style that has been so remarkable here began when the property was purchased by American wine importer Alan Sauvage and the gains made early on were really cemented and reinforced when Dominik Sona and Franzi Schmitt took over the full reigns from Bernard Filipi (previous owner and winemaker) a few years ago. Since then the trajectory has been phenomenal to watch. The first really drastic shift was noticeable with the last release of this wine, worth noting here that the estate doesn’t release all its wines on the same year, which was the best bottling I had seen from them in years. The 2018 is a big step ahead of that as well.
I am not sure what else to say here. This is one of Germany’s great estates and it has had a serious injection of life in recent times. All the necessary ingredients are there to create wines of the highest conceivable quality and it would appear as though that is precisely what they are set to do now. As someone who I regard as one of Australia’s biggest Riesling nerds said to me just recently “They are my number one producer in Germany”. Now, I don’t know if I would go that far but certainly they are making all the right moves and this is a stunning return to form for their Kabinett.
The only small thing I would add now is that while this wine is so totally gorgeous right now I would, if possible, be putting some aside for at least five years as the key components are there to suggest even a little time in the bottle will only add more interest to the wine.
I am offering this wine with a sharp discount, more than 20%, in straight six packs but I can’t urge you enough to buy dozens of this. I promise you, if you like Riesling you will absolutely go nuts for this. At $26 a bottle it is sensational value.