Gunter Künstler comes to us from the famous village of Hochheim am Main; in 17th century Britain the term ‘Hock’ was used to describe all Rhinegau wines. At that time, these wines were much more famous than Mosel wines and were more expensive than some of the finest Bordeaux. Thomas Jefferson visited the region in 1788 and described Rheingau Riesling as “small and delicate Rhysslin which grows only from Hochheim to Rudesheim”. He was so impressed with the quality that he found here, he took 100 cuttings of Rheingau Riesling back to Monticello.
The climate in Hochheim is rather more humid than its environs. This complicates Gunter’s urge to move in an organic direction, though he says “Generally we are working without any herbicides since 1992 and we grow on 11 hectares organically. Here we have three blocks of about 3.5 hectares. In the future we will move step by step to 100% organic, but this, in our warm and humid microclimate, is not easy. Finally, I have to make ends meet and to pay my employees. In order to produce dry Rieslings we have to protect against botrytis in every production step.” Cellar work is generally in line with the norms among elite producers. Musts settle by gravity and are pressed clear. He ferments with cultured yeast, because it’s often still warm when grapes are being picked and to work sponti would mean a greater risk of volatile acidity. The cellar orients toward cask as opposed to steel, though each is used. Wood gives the ideal low-tech micro-oxygenation. The overriding goal is to produce wines with “heart and soul”. The wines are very pure, clean and precise, without tasting as though they’ve been sanitized and had the character stripped out of them. They are detailed and meticulous, but also delicious and satisfying.
Some Basic Info:
Rudesheimer Bischofsberg is the name of the site, non designated.
Alte Reben means "Old Vine."
Trocken means dry
Riesling means Riesling
Palate: The dryness really comes to light where one expects the full overkill of melon insanity. There's this weird overplay between the saline minerality that wants to stick it's head but keeps getting bopped by the fruit. It's like an adult version of Chuck E Cheese.
What I'm Eating: Thai and lime free range chicken wings.
What I'm Listening To: King Crimson Red Album
2012 Kunstler Rudesheimer Bischofsberg Alte Reben Riesling Trocken
Original Price: $47.99
Sale Price: $24.99
3 Bottles: $22.99
6+ Bottles: $21.99
Call to order: 212-777-3151