Weiser-Kunstler

VISIT THIS PRODUCER'S WEBSITE
LOCATE ON GOOGLE MAPS
VISIT IMPORTER'S WEBSITE
Country of Origin: Germany
Location: Traben-Trarbach, Middle Mosel
People: Konstantin Weiser & Alexandra Künstler, Owners & Winemakers
Viticulture: Practicing Organic

Items

Weiser-Kunstler 2018 'Wolfer Sonnenlay' Riesling Spatlese, Mosel Login MFW 93 JG 92+ In Stock
Weiser-Kunstler 2018 Riesling Feinerb, Mosel Login WA 90 MFW 91 JG 90 In Stock
Weiser-Kunstler 2018 Riesling Kabinett, Schlossberg, Mosel Login MFW 91 WA (90 - 92) In Stock
Weiser-Kunstler 2018 Riesling Trarbacher Trocken, Mosel Login MFW 92 JG 90+ In Stock
Weiser-Kunstler 2017 Riesling, Steffensberg Grand Cru, Mosel Login MFW 92+ WA 92 <1 Case
Weiser-Kunstler 2018 Riesling, Steffensberg Grand Cru, Mosel Login MFW 92 JG 92-93 In Stock



David Rayer & Jean Fish, Mosel Fine Wine Review
“These are consistently among the top wines produced anywhere in the Mosel, made from painstakingly strict selections from prime steep vineyards planted with old ungrafted vines. Yet prices remain moderate… Savvy readers should plunge on these wines.”


Vinous 6/22/2017
"Whether bone dry, off-dry or overtly sweet, the Weiser-Künstler wines are characterized by energy, levity and clarity. Gentle handling of the young wines with minimal filtration and modest levels of sulfur all no doubt play positive roles. But there can be little question that the decisive factors are meticulousness in the vineyards – featuring creative and labor-intensive variations on organic viticulture – and the choice of parcels, many of whose vines are nearly old enough to recall the Fin de Siècle era when this stretch of Mosel enjoyed a reputation rivaled by few others."


From some of the most demanding vineyard sites in the world, the meditative and humble Konstantin Weiser and Alexandra Künstler craft magical wines unlike any other estate in Germany. Stylistically, their Rieslings are delicate, porcelain, detailed, mineral and pure. The focus is on Mosel Rieslings with noticeable residual sugar (Prädikat wines), but they make excellent dry and off-dry Rieslings as well. In other words, Weiser-Künstler does it all, and does it all beautifully. The dry Rieslings are razor sharp, more about mineral, salt and flower than about fruit. They feel like porcelain in their weight and purity. The Prädikat wines are “old school,” with lower amounts of residual sugar and higher amounts of acidity than most. They shiver with tension and acidity and remain fresh, agile and versatile. While this estate remains an insider’s secret, this is changing and every year demand rises. Supply, however, does not.

Founded in 2005, this tiny estate of just over three hectares is located in Traben-Trarbach, which is downstream from the famous “Hollywood” section of the Middle Mosel. Around the turn of the 20th century, Traben-Trarbach was one of the wealthiest towns in the Mosel. It was the heart of the Mosel Riesling trade. Mosel Rieslings during this time were considered the greatest wines in the world. Much of the grand architecture of Traben-Trarbach was built during this period. The stunning Jugendstil (“Art Nouveau”) Hotel Bellevue is perhaps the most iconic building of the village. This is an era that seems to inform much of the feel of Weiser-Künstler. The labels of this estate take their cue from the Jugendstil designers. The owl on the label represents wisdom, a reference to Konstantin's last name, Weiser.

Most importantly, the dawn of the 20th century was the height of fame for the vineyards that Weiser-Künstler now own and farm. The Lintz map of the Mosel from 1897 details the three key vineyards of Weiser-Künstler (Ellergrub, Gaispfad (spelled Geispfad on old maps) and Steffensberg) as grand cru sites (view map in image gallery). As a whole, this stretch is quainter than the grand amphitheaters of Piesport or Trittenheim, but it is every bit their equal. Traben-Trarbach fell into obscurity in the latter half of the 20th century, with many vineyards going abandoned. Therefore, the vines near Traben-Trarbach have not seen the “modernization” that many sites in the Mosel have. The vineyards still have their jutting, ladder-like terraces. The vines on these terraces are very old, ungrafted and high-density planted. This area of the Middle Mosel, literally, has roots that run very deep. One can taste that profundity in the wines.

Weiser-Künstler is a member of Der Klitzkleine Ring, which is a small circle of growers who show their wines together and labor in saving plots of old, precious Riesling vines on steep, slate slopes from being cut down. Konstantin and Alexandra are preserving the ancient terraces of Traben-Trarbach. They are in the vineyards daily, and it is obvious that they are most comfortable in their vineyards. They farm their vines organically and biodynamically with organic certification in the works. Because of stonewalls and the steepness of the sites, all the work has to be done by hand with a hoe.

Fermentation occurs spontaneously with native yeast in the cold cellar underneath their property. After brief skin contact (helping to reduce acidity), pressing occurs in an old pneumatic Willmes press. Stainless steel vats, old oak Fuder and second-hand barriques are used to influence structure. "Stainless steel better keeps the acidity, and wood helps to round it out," Konstantin says.

Vineyard Information: Gaispfad is adjacent to Ellergrub on the same, stony, southwest- and west-facing escarpment, known as the Starkenburger Hang. The slate soil here has more iron oxide than Ellergrub and is some redder slate, along with gray-blue slate and quartz. Steffensberg is a south-facing hillside vineyard in a side valley. It's at the lower end of the Ahringsbach, behind Enkirch, where the deep topsoil has plenty of iron oxide. Their choice parcel is in Ellergrub—a top vineyard site in the Middle Mosel. This steep, terraced slope consisting primarily of blue and gray slate, along with quartz, is the heart of the Weiser-Künstler property. The ungrafted Riesling vines located here are up to 100 years old.

Reviews

  • Weiser-Kunstler 2017 Riesling, Steffensberg Grand Cru, Mosel
    Mosel Fine Wines
    Rating: 92+ (10/15/2018)

    The 2017er Enkircher Steffensberg was fermented down to bone-dry levels (it only has 2.5 g/l of residual sugar). It offers a beautiful nose of grapefruit, pineapple, herbs, mint, lime, sage, smoke and cinnamon. The wine is quite structured and tight on the palate, but gradually expands to offer great presence, intensity and even a touch of power (at only 11.5% of alcohol) in the very long finish. There is a touch of phenolic presence and tartness in need of integration, but this already hints at a great dry Riesling at maturity. 2022-2032+
  • Weiser-Kunstler 2018 Riesling Feinerb, Mosel
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 90 (6/28/2019)

    Whole-bunch pressed and bottled in early March, the 2018 Riesling is still very reductive on the nose but clear, fresh and fine in its fruit aromas. The palate is elegant, lush and intense but precise, fine and transparent, with a leaner and more linear structure than the 2017 that was macerated. This is a very elegant and refined Riesling in a more crystalline style.
  • Weiser-Kunstler 2017 Riesling, Steffensberg Grand Cru, Mosel
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 92 (6/28/2019)

    The 2017 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling is perfectly ripe and deep on the coolish and crunchy nose. This wine comes from deeper, weathered slate soils with great water-storage capacity. It is a full-bodied, intense and structured Riesling with dense texture, a tight and piquant finish and serious phenolic grip. Stimulatingly salty and still very young but promising.
  • Weiser-Kunstler 2018 Riesling Feinerb, Mosel
    Mosel Fine Wines
    Rating: 91 (6/28/2019)

    The 2018er Riesling Weiser-Ku?nstler comes from Estate holdings as well as grapes sourced from befriended organic growers in the Wolfer Sonnenlay, Trarbacher Schlossberg, Trarbacher Kräuterhaus and Enkircher Steffensberg and was fermented down to 14 g/l of residual sugar. It offers a gorgeous nose of peach, pear, herbs and spices. The wine is nicely spicy and elegant on the palate and leaves a long feel of herbs and spices. This amazing Estate bottling would put many high-end Riesling bottlings to shame.
  • Weiser-Kunstler 2018 Riesling, Steffensberg Grand Cru, Mosel
    Mosel Fine Wines
    Rating: 92 (6/10/2019)

    This 2018er Steffensberg, as it referred to on the consumer label, has the telltale nose of peach, pear and tangerine. It saw some pre-fermentation cold soak (14 hours) and this comes through on the palate, where it still proves full of grip and structure. The wine is beautifully elegant and long, and leaves a gorgeously spicy feel in the finish. This needs a couple of years to fully integrate and will only start to shine after that. 2023-2038
  • Weiser-Kunstler 2018 Riesling Trarbacher Trocken, Mosel
    Mosel Fine Wines
    Rating: 92 (6/10/2019)

    The 2018er Trarbacher Riesling, as it is referred to on the commercial label, comes from the Schlossberg and Kräuterhaus. Thi s offers a great nose of dried herbs, pear, citrusy fruits and a hint of residual scents from spontaneous fermentation. The wine is nicely playful and gorgeously smooth yet deep on the palate. Superb scents of spices and herbs emerge in the finish and give the wine a stunning multi-layered feel. This is a superb wine which combines presence and finesse. 2021-2033
  • Weiser-Kunstler 2018 'Wolfer Sonnenlay' Riesling Spatlese, Mosel
    Mosel Fine Wines
    Rating: 93 (6/10/2019)

    The 2018er Wolfer Sonnenlay Riesling Spätlese was harvested at 95° Oechsle on mostly un-grafted vines trained on single pole and was fermented down to sweet levels of residual sugar. The wine offers a reduced nose of pear, citrusy fruits, almond and smoky slate. It develops the fruity presence of an Auslese on the palate but retains great playfulness in the finish thanks to its comparatively high acidity (9.5 g/l). The after-taste is playful and elegant. 2028-2048
  • Weiser-Kunstler 2018 'Wolfer Sonnenlay' Riesling Spatlese, Mosel
    John Gilman View from the Cellar
    Rating: 92+ (5/8/2019)

    It was lovely to see a Spätlese produced from the Sonnenlay vineyard this year and this is another really refined example of the vintage. The bouquet is pure and already very expressive, offering up scents of golden delicious apples, white cherries, a very complex base of slate, spring flowers and an esthery topnote of bee pollen. On the palate the wine is medium-full, crisp and pure, with classic tension between the juicy fruit, zesty acids and salty slate mineral drive. The finish is long, complex and very classy and this wine is going to be hard to resist from the moment it is released! Alexandra was not sure of the exact numbers for the Sonnenlay Spätlese, but estimated it is around sixty-five grams of sugar and eight grams of acidity. Joyous juice. 2019-2050.
  • Weiser-Kunstler 2018 Riesling Trarbacher Trocken, Mosel
    John Gilman View from the Cellar
    Rating: 90+ (5/8/2019)

    The Estate Riesling bottling and this excellent Trarbacher Trocken both hail essentially from the same vineyards of Schlossberg and Talbenhaus in the village of Trarbach. The primary difference is that this cuvée fermented down below the threshold to be labeled Trocken, whereas the Estate Riesling found its perfect balance with just a bit more residual sugar. This wine is still in cask and is excellent, offering up a superb bouquet of tart orange, salty minerality, a touch of wild fennel, green apple, dried flowers and a nice hint of botanicals in the upper register. On the palate the wine is fullish, crisp and rock solid at the core, with excellent complexity, impressive backend mineral drive and great length and grip on the zesty and very refined finish. Alexandra suspects this is closer to twelve percent octane, so just a touch more powerful than the Estate Riesling this year. First class juice. 2023-2050.
  • Weiser-Kunstler 2018 Riesling, Steffensberg Grand Cru, Mosel
    John Gilman View from the Cellar
    Rating: 92-93 (5/8/2019)

    The Steffensberg vineyard in Enkirch is planted with forty-five year-old vines, on the south-facing slope of grey slate, and it is always a superb wine in the Weiser-Ku?nstler cellars. The 2018 was lagging a bit in terms of finishing up its fermentation, and consequently was still a touch yeasty on the nose at the time of my visit, but Alexandra commented that it was just about complete. While the wine was still a tad adolescent on the nose, it was settled in and singing on the palate and it is clearly going to be excellent wine. The very youthful bouquet offers up scents of tart orange, a hint of green pear, a lovey base of slate, dried flowers and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, medium-full, pure and beautifully balanced, with an excellent core of fruit, lovely backend grip and mineral drive and a long, promising and vibrant finish. This will clearly be outstanding juice. 2023-2060.
  • Weiser-Kunstler 2018 Riesling Feinerb, Mosel
    John Gilman View from the Cellar
    Rating: 90 (5/8/2019)

    Despite having just been bottled, the wine was showing beautifully; it is 11.5 percent in alcohol, carries 14.5 grams of sugar and has acids at 7.5 grams per liter, which conspire to make this flat out gorgeous to drink right out of the blocks, but with the balance and spine of acidity to also carry it as far as its screwcap will allow. The bouquet is beautifully expressive already, jumping from the glass in a complex blend of apple, salty slate minerality, a touch of white cherry, spring flowers and just a whisper of more savory aromatics in the upper register. On the palate the wine is medium-full, bright and superbly detailed, with a lovely core, fine acids and grip and a long, vibrant and utterly refined finish. This is a stunning value! 2019-2040+.
  • Weiser-Kunstler 2018 Riesling Kabinett, Schlossberg, Mosel
    Mosel Fine Wines
    Rating: 91 (6/10/2019)

    The 2018er Trarbacher Schlossberg Riesling Kabinett was harvested at 92° Oechsle on the original Schlossberg hill, and was fermented down to fully fruity-styled levels of residual sugar. It offers a delicately broad nose made of coconut, apricot blossom, strawberry, dried herbs and fine spices. The wine develops the playful presence of a Spätlese on the palate, where apricot blossom and dried herbs play with the mild feeling of acidity. The finish is smooth, inviting and juicy. 2023-2038
  • Weiser-Kunstler 2018 Riesling Kabinett, Schlossberg, Mosel
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: (90 - 92) (6/28/2019)

    The 2018 Trarbacher Schlossberg Riesling Kabinett shows a clear and elegant bouquet of fully ripe fruit aromas intermixed with slatey notes. Lush and generous but precise and even filigreed on the palate, this is a seductive, very aromatic and fruity Kabinett with Spätlese features. The finish is crunchy and well-structured with fine phenols. A fabulous wine but more like a Spätlese rather than a Kabinett. Tasted in March 2019.