Koehler-Ruprecht is one of the oldest, most distinctive wineries in the Pfalz region. It first came to our attention many years ago when the late, great Berhnard Breuer introduced me to Koehler-Ruprecht legend Bernd Philippi with whom Bernhard had partnership projects in Spain and South Africa at the time. Bernd later came to Australia for one of the Frankland Estate Riesling tastings to present aged examples of their most famous single-vineyard wine, the Kallstadter Saumagen. Years went by and it wasn’t until 2012 that I visited the winery for the first time, which is now owned by the Sauvage family of Burn Cottage fame. The time had arrived to bring these in, albeit in the tiny quantities in which they are available. Made using only the finest hand-selected grapes, which undergo spontaneous fermentation in very old wooden barrels, these amazingly long-living Rieslings buck the trend when it comes to what we have more recently come to understand as dry German Riesling. Variety is the spice of life eh?
Kallstadter Saumagen Riesling Auslese Trocken RR 2007
The Saumagen vineyard is one of the most celebrated sites of the Pfalz region. It has calcareous soils on a south-facing slope and delivers wines with especially high minerality and ageing potential.
The 2007 Kallstadter Saumagen Riesling Auslese trocken RR is a huge, powerful and - still –promising wine! Bottled with 13.5% alcohol it is bulging-full of tension, very chalky, extremely mineral but still elegant, fresh, piquant and expressive. This is a truly great dry Riesling with lemon-fresh flavors, although flavors do not matter here. It is the tension and the complexity that makes this a great wine. The finish is still slightly drying but there is enough electricity to set your palate under fire in a couple of years. Nota bene: Riesling is not just an amazing grape for sweet wines.