Two Regions, Two Künstlers
“What’s in a name?” Shakespeare asks in his most famous work of Romeo & Juliet. The idea being that it isn’t so much the way we identify something that distinguishes it, but rather its quality. The same can be said for wine! Although…..certain names and consistent excellence do have a remarkable way of repeating themselves throughout the classic regions of wine. Whether it’s the Reverdys of Sancerre, the Prüms of the Mosel, or the Conternos of Barolo, it’s not uncommon to find a pattern of brilliance across the disparate families that make up a region, coincidental examples included.
The Künstler name is one such coincidental example; as we at Vinopolis have long adored both the wines of Weiser-Künstler and Weingut Künstler for their beautiful expressions of riesling from two different regions. We can find no direct family connection between the two vintners, and these estates seem only linked through a shared caliber for fine wine. More the lucky our subscribers are as we are offering both of these producers at some of the best pricing you’ll find in the market.
Weiser-Künstler is a classic style Mosel estate whose wines have oft been compared to the legendary Willi Schaefer. They’re located a hop skip and a jump up the Mosel river from Bernkastel-Kues, approximately 30 minutes drive or 4 turns or so of the river in the village of Enkirch. Konstantin Weiser and Alexandra Künstler (the source of the combined winery name) began this label in 2005 and the estate has expanded to include plots in Enkircher Ellergrub, Zeppwingert, Steffensberg, as well as Trabener Gaispfad. The winery makes both dry and off-dry style wines and they do so with total mastery over what one is looking for in classic Mosel rieslings. The Ellergrub is their top vineyard site consisting primarily of blue and gray slate and containing ungrafted riesling vines that are up to 100 years old. We have a few bottlings of this vineyard in-stock now and rapidly running out.
Weiser-Kuenstler Enkircher Ellergrub Riesling Auslese 2020 375ml $39 special, 5 bottles available
Mosel Fine Wines 94+ points “The 2020er Enkircher Ellergrub Riesling Auslese is made from botrytized fruit picked at 106° Oechsle and was fermented down to noble-sweet levels of residual sugar. It offers a still rather reduced and firmly spicy nose made of almond paste, dried fruits, citrusy fruits, melon, smoke, and whipped cream. The wine develops the full rich and focused presence of an Auslese GK on the sweet yet racy palate and leaves one with great flavors of almond, pear, melon, and raisin in the finish. A dash of apricot and kick of zesty fruits rounds of the experience in the aftertaste. This superb dessert wine is still on the shy side and could ultimately prove even better as we anticipated, especially as it reveals its flavors. 2030-2060.”
Weiser-Kuenstler Enkircher Ellergrub Riesling Spatlese 2020 750ml $44 special, 3 bottles available
Mosel Fine Wines 94 points “The 2020er Enkircher Ellergrub Riesling Spätlese was made from fruit harvested at 96° Oechsle on largely un-grafted vines still trained on single pole and was fermented down to sweet levels of residual sugar (77 g/l). it offers a subtly exotic nose made of apricot, melon, cassis, passion fruit, smoke, and a hint of almond. The wine develops the smooth yet racy intense presence of an Auslese on the palate and leaves one with a still rather sweet feel in the melon infused finish. This gorgeous subtly apricot-infused and creamy wine now just needs a few years of patience in order to firm up and deliver its goods. 2030-2050.”
Franz Künstler established this family winery in the Rheingau back in 1965 after moving the family from the Czech Republic following the end of World War II. His son Gunter Künstler now runs the winery, a graduate of Geisenheim University and a student of delicious and primarily dry riesling. The vineyards and winery are locaed in Hochheim, an area known for it’s quality long before other regions like the Mosel achieved the fame they’re known for today. In fact, the Rheingau is Germany’s true riesling heartland, mentioned and praised for it’s quality in historic texts and achieving prices on vintage wine lists that often exceeded that of Bordeaux and other famous denominations for much of the early 20th century. Weingut Künstler is helping to restore this understanding of incredible Rheingau wine with their impressive line-up of Grosses Gewachs rieslings all made from top sites. These wines have a restoring mineral quality, admirable precision, and the beautiful weight of fruit that only this region really achieves. We highly recommend picking up a few of the GG bottlings as they are an incredible value.
Weingut Kunstler Hochheimer Holle Riesling Grosses Gewachs 2020 750ml $59 special, 23 bottles available
Stuart Pigott 98 points “The deep, peach and apricot nose leads you into this enormously concentrated yet graceful dry riesling that’s got the stature to stand next to almost any Grand Cru white Burgundy. Enormously long, beautifully balanced finish that pulls your hand magnetically back to the glass. Drink or hold.”
Weingut Kunstler Hochheim Kirchenstuck Riesling Grosses Gewachs 2020 750ml $59 special, 24 bottles available
Stuart Pigott 96 points “Very complex nose of white chocolate, white peaches and fresh herbs. Sleek and very finely delineated, this is a super-elegant dry Rheingau riesling with a long, cool finish that ripples with notes of fennel and parsley. Drink or hold.”
|KUNSTLER HOLLE NEUEN RIESLING 20
|KUNSTLER HOLLE RIESLING GG 2020
|KUNSTLER KIRCHENSTUCK RIES GG 20
|KUNSTLER WEISS ERD GG 20 CS-6
|KUNSTLER WEISS ERD RIES GG 2020
|WEISER-KUNSLTER ELLER AUS 20 375
|WEISER-KUNSLTER ELLER SPAT 2020
|WEISER-KUNSLTER GAISPFAD KAB 20
|WEISER-KUNSLTER RIES FEINHERB 20
|WEISER-KUNSLTER RIES GAISPFAD 20
|WEISER-KUNSLTER SONNEN KAB 2020