Tag Archives: Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt

Red + White Imports – 21/05/2013

Bianca Vigna Prosecco DOC
Nice crisp clean citrus apple, classic prosecco. Fresh bold fruit and warm mouthfeel. Super pleasant.

Louis Roederer Brut Premier
Creamy buttery autolysis, a little fat and rich bit still fresh and clean. Minimal complexity, certainly vibrant.

Louis Roederer Rosé 2007
Crisp bright citrus red grapefruit blood orange. Long and precise. A little mushroomy pinot on the nose.

Louis Roederer Cristal 2005
Quite wild and complex, nutty mushroom leesy Camembert. Extraordinarily delicate, fine and elegant, long and ethereal creaminess. A cut above the 2004.

Peramor Verdejo Rueda 2011
Quite subtle aromatically, thin and watery. Not giving much at all.

Monte Tondo Soave Classico 2012
Disappointing, suffers same problem as Verdejo.

Louis Jadot Macon Village White 2011
Subtle to say the least, fresh and clean but lacking much personality.

Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt RK Riesling Trocken 2011
Slightly spicy quince notes, clean and fresh but good level of mineral green notes.

Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Riesling Kaseler 2011
Showing a little more concentration, density but still clean precise and fairly straightforward.

Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Riesling Wiltinger 2011
Bolder still, lifting but still an easy vintage.

Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Josephshofer 2011
More RS texture and weight, great precision and length, some botrytis notes.

Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Piesporter Goltropchen Riesling Spatlese 2011
Dense creamy lanolin texture, balanced yet rich and subtle sweetness.

El Bos Tinta de Toro 2011
Spicy Black Forest plum notes, bright fresh but a little fruit and oak sweet.

Monte Tondo Valpolicella 2011
Lavender potpourri, herbal lemon tea. A little tight and weedy, lacking depth and plumpness for the tannin structure.

Mazzei Badiola IGT 2011
Focused tight balanced fresh yet bold. Is what it says.

Vietti Barbera d’Asti Tre Vigne 2010
Spicy nutmeg, black cherry red plum. Bright fresh approachable but focused.

Vietti Barbera d’Alba Vigna Scarrone 2010
Tighter leaner on the nose, density and focus. Fuller yet softer, more and longer tannins.

Louis Jadot Cote de Nuits Villages Le Vaucrain 2009
Safe. A tad hot. Serviceable.

Louis Jadot Chambolle-Musigny 2009
More depth and precision, more character and intensity. Delivers.

Pure Garrigue Cotes-du-Rhone Red 2011
Dense dark red fruits, very limited amounts of spice.

Domaine de la Renjarde Massif d’Uchaux 2010
Soft dense yet fresh and focused.

Chateau La Nerthe Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2009
Totally against the grain for the appellation and vintage. Light fresh and vibrant rather than full soft and dark.

Chateau de Pez 2008
Serviceable but uninteresting.

Mazzei Mix 36 2008
Very international oak maceration nose. Very tight and focused but not full heavy or overworked. Focused fine yet intense tannins. Needs a lot more time for oak to blow off.

Red + White Imports

Red + White Imports

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Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt – 31/01/2012

Kaseler Trocken Riesling 2010
Very mineral and flinty nose, nice balance, very approachable, apple and pear crispness, fresh and friendly, nice purity and lines.

Wiltinger Trocken Riesling 2010
More struck-match minerality, nicely balanced, less fruit character, hints of kale and parsley, fresh and clean, great finish.

Nies’chen Grosses Gewachs Riesling 2010
More gunpowder, floral honeydew melon, hints of paw paw, nice dry balance, complex and full, delicate pineapple tropicality.

Juffer-Sonnenuhr Grosses Gewachs Riesling 2010
Very subdued, a little sour, reminiscent of apple juice.

Josephshofer Kabinett Riesling 2010
Wonderful integration, lovely balance, off-dry and long, delicate fruit and floral notes.

Scharzofberger Kabinett Riesling 2010
Salty briny nose, slightly different texturally, good acid freshness, wonderful finish, nice balance, ageing potential.

Scharzofberger Kabinett Riesling 2010
Richer on the palate, lovely savoury off-dry, slight Japanese flavour.

Brauneberger Juffer-Sonneuhr Spatlese Riesling 2005
Beautiful richness, wonderful balance, nice long finish.

Auslese Gold Cap #10 Riesling 2010
Lemon barley cordial apple, extremely concentrated, amazingly deep and rich, lovely and fresh, great finish.

Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt tasting

Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt tasting

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The Vintage Experience

After two months an important part of my trip has concluded. Important not just because I learnt a lot about wine, but also as I needed work to get a working-holiday visa to remain in Europe all year. After 10 months of solid visits to wineries with a few brief intermissions, I was grateful for a break in wine when I travelled through the UK, Ireland, The Netherlands and Northern Germany before returning to wine, this time on the other side of the fence. Another thing I was grateful for was some money and the chance to stay somewhere for free for a few months, thus saving me some money that I didn’t have. It is with all sincerity that I thank first the Hasselbach family from Weingut Gunderloch in the Rheinhessen, and second Annegret Reh-Gartner and her team at Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt in the Mosel, for their generosity in welcoming me and allowing me to gain first-hand insights into German riesling.
Picking grapes in the Rheinhessen

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Vintage 2012 – Weeks Eight & Nine

My final two weeks of vintage were for the most part uneventful as the harvest concluded and the vast majority of work was cleaning and checking the fermenting tanks. I was very generously taken out for dinner and lunch by the domestic sales manager and the owner respectively, and on both instances got to eat some lovely German food. There were a couple of dinners to celebrate the end of vintage; first with the Romanian vineyard workers and then the cellar team who are all locals. The winery also welcomed a journalist and they opened some bottles going back to 1983, all of which I had the chance to taste as well.

Bernd working hard pressing botrytised fruit to get juice with high sugar content.
Niklas compacting grape marc for future distillation to make schnapps.
Range of wines tasted going back to 1983.
Freshly and heavily hand-pruned vines in the Scharzofberg vineyard.
Old shoots clinging to the trellis wire. Always reminds me of snakes.
Just so you know who owns this vineyard.
This is Alexandra, one of the Romanian friends I made in the vineyards.
Walking up those steep slopes pruning requires a rest break.

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Vintage 2012 – Week Seven

Week two at Kesselstatt was mostly the same as the first. The fruit coming in is of a very high quality, but unfortunately it is in quite small quantities. With the very cool and wet weather we have been having the ripeness is not as high as Wolfgang would like, but they are very healthy bunches with little rot. It is nice to get into a routine of checking the ferments followed by transferring filtered juice into fermentation tanks each day, but it can also be a little dull doing the same thing every day. Such is the beauty and the curse of working exclusively with white wine, as they require much less work than reds. Some of the days have been a bit shorter with much less work to do in the winery as a by-product of lower volumes but healthy fruit. Thursday was a holiday in Germany and Wolfgang was nice enough to take the team to a local restaurant for some hearty schnitzels.

Gorgeously ripe berries in the vineyards opposite Schloss Marienlay, covered in morning condensation.
Schloss Marienlay, the headquarters of Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt.
The Piesporter vineyards in the heart of the Mosel Valley.
The famous blue slate soils of the Mosel.

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Vintage 2012 – Week Six

Here I am in the Mosel region, based in the Ruwer Valley just outside of Waldrach. I’ve now been working at Kesselstatt for about ten days and it has been great so far. Almost all of the fruit has now been picked from their numerous vineyards, and every day I get to check the progress of the tanks fermenting. The winemaker Wolfgang Mertes (who has also generously provided me with a great room whilst I am here) prefers spontaneous fermentations, some of which take a week to start. Before they start fermenting the rieslings can have a character of sweet tea to them, which is quite unique and delicious. Some of the weisburgunder tanks are fermenting really slowly but show great character because of it. It has been getting colder, sometimes raining and even a bit of snow. I picked grapes my first day and also had the chance to visit some of the other vineyards.

Vineyards overlooking Trier, the town where the Ruwer and Saar valleys join the Mosel valley.
Where I am staying in the Mosel.
The vineyards above Kasel the first day of work, beautiful day and actually got a bit warm in the afternoon.
The Saar vineyard of Scharzofberg.
Bins of fruit freshly delivered to the winery.
The bins are lifted off the ground or off the back of trucks.
They are then emptied into the destemmer and the berries are pumped up to the hoppers.
Berries are free run juice go into the hoppers.
The hoppers are then emptied into one of the presses below.
The pressed juice gets transferred to tanks for settling overnight and racking off sediment the following morning.
Flotation filtering is used to separate additional solids in the juice before it goes into fermentation tanks. Here we can check to see when the clear juice becomes sediment.
Tanks must be cleaned thoroughly. This is Simon.

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Back to the future (Mosel, Germany – Day Two)

For the first time on my trip, I feel totally out of my depth in the Mosel Valley. Having started my wine career in the Yarra Valley, and working for a sparkling producer, means that I am very familiar with the varieties of Burgundy, Bordeaux and the Rhone Valley. When it comes to Riesling, I am a little bit out of my element. I have gained some familiarity with the wines of such regions as the Clare Valley and Eden Valley, and also other emerging regions in Australia and New Zealand. Visiting Alsace in 2010 helped a lot, but of course Riesling isn’t necessarily the focus. German rieslings, particularly the wines of the Mosel, are in an entirely different league. This is of course why I have come to the region; to gain familiarity and experience.

On top of the world, looking down on creation!

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