Despite the German wine scene's reputation for being stodgy and conservative, there's real youthful energy taking hold in the Mosel these days. Young growers are rediscovering forgotten vineyards, farming more responsibly, and working more naturally than the previous generation. The result, not surprisingly, is some of the best Rieslings we've come across. Konstantin Weiser and Alexandra Künstler are leading this young cohort. Year in and year out, Weiser-Künstler's Rieslings are some of our favorite wines on our shelves, essentially perfect expressions of classic Mosel delicacy and brilliance.
Alexandra Künstler and Konstantin Weiser are throwbacks to a forgotten Mosel. At the end of the 19th century, the vineyards they farm were considered grand crus, but fell into obscurity as the 20th century progressed. As a result, Weiser-Künstler owns primarily 80+ year old, ungrafted vines, entirely Riesling. These older vines undoubtedly contribute to the Weiser-Künstler style: incredible density of flavor packed into featherweight frames. It encapsulates so much of what we love about Mosel Riesling, above all the ability to provide sheer refreshment without sacrificing complexity. When you're in the mood for some chisel and cut, nothing delivers quite like the Mosel, and Weiser-Kunstler demonstrates this better than almost anyone else.
2020 is a vintage that plays right into Weiser-Künstler's strengths. Like 2018 and 2019, the summer was very warm, which led to accelerated ripening. But the weather turned cool and cloudy in the fall, meaning sugars stayed at relatively modest levels for weeks on end, and the grapes could develop flavor without weight. The 2020 vintage is about the fascinating balance of ripe flavors but delivered with a lightness rarely seen in recent years. Weiser-Künstler nailed the vintage and produced some stunning wines at all levels of its portfolio. Their Kabinett wines are remarkably light-footed, focused, and packed with delicate flavors.
As you might expect, the Weiser-Künstler style is best exemplified in the Trocken, and Kabinett categories. Once upon a time, these lower-ripeness classifications may have been thought of as "lesser" than their Spätlese and Auslese siblings, but things are changing. As Germany contends with consistently warmer vintages, the best winemakers are those who've proven able to retain the cut and freshness these steep slopes are known for. In a country filled to the brim with excellent winemakers, Weiser-Künstler stands out as being one of the absolute best in this regard. Today's offering is the perfect marriage of producer, vintage, and style; the wines are kaleidoscopically detailed but also profoundly refreshing and satisfying. The sad truth is this style of Riesling may soon be impossible in the wake of climate change, so we're stocking up on every bottle we can get. We suggest you do the same!