2011 Gunderloch "Jean Baptiste" Riesling Kabinett

SKU #1111254 Jancis Robinson

 Quite restrained on the nose, but a delicate fragrance of citrus fruit and spices captivates my attention. A gentle fruit flavour, soft acidity and hints of clove and kernel raise the level of this Kabinett beyond the merely pleasant.  (7/2012)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Mint, orange blossom and heliotrope delight the nose, setting up Gunderloch’s 2011 Riesling Kabinett Jean-Baptiste to deliver a soothingly polished, expansive mouthful of liquid floral perfume and almond cookie infusion backed by rather prominent sweetness in comparison with other recent editions of this cuvee. But at 12.5% alcohol already, the feeling -- no doubt rightly -- was that to cash in any more residual sugar would have compromised levity to an extent incompatible with the notion of Kabinett. 'This is the only 2011 over which we really banged our heads,' remarks Agnes Hasselbach. While a bit short on refreshment, it’s still admirably persistent, with a hint of alkalinity offering some counterpoint to its sweet personality and literal sweetness.  (2/2013)

K&L Notes

Der Fröhliche Weinberg, or the Merry Vineyard, is considered German playwright Carl Zuckmayer's breakthrough comedy. The protaganist of this incredibly successful play, which premiered in Berlin in 1925, was Jean Baptiste Gunderloch, an aging vineyard owner. This classic Kabinett-style Riesling from Gunderloch takes its name from that character.

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Price: $11.99
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- While the rest of the world has often misappropriated the name--Welchriesling, Riesling Italico, Gray Riesling and Emerald Riesling are all names applied to varieties that are NOT Riesling--this exceptional German varietal has managed to maintain its identity. Perhaps its biggest claims to fame are its intoxicating perfume, often described as having honeyed stone fruit, herb, apple and citrus notes, and its incredible longevity - the wines lasting for decades. Aged Rieslings often take on a distinctive and alluring Petrol-like aroma. Within Germany, the grape seems to do best in the warming slate soils of the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer. Other German regions that turn out great Rieslings include Pfalz, Rheingau and Nahe. German Rieslings are made in a range of ripeness levels. The top wines are assigned Prädikat levels to describe their ripeness at harvest. These are: Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Eiswein and Trockenbeerenauslese. Riesling has also achieved acclaim in France's Alsace, the only region in that country where the grape is officially permitted. Alsatian Rieslings are typically dry and wonderfully aromatic. Austrian Riesling is also steadily gaining praise and fine Riesling is also produced in Italy's Alto-Adige and Friuli, in Slovenia and much of Central and Eastern Europe. In the New World its stronghold is Australia, where it does best in the Eden and Clare Valleys. It is also planted in smaller amounts in New Zealand. In the US, winemakers are eschewing the syrupy sweet versions of the 1970s and 1980s, instead making elegant and balanced wines in both California and Washington State.


- Thanks to a recent string of excellent vintages and to the reemergence of Germany onto the international wine writing scene, this is a country that's hot, hot, hot! Germany is divided into 13 wine Region and produces a very wide variety of wine styles, from incredibly high-acid, dry wines to some of the sweetest, most unctuous concoctions on the planet and even a few surprisingly hearty reds. Most of the highest-quality wines are grown on steep banks along the rivers in these Region. Small vineyards are still mostly hand tended and picked, due to the difficult nature of mechanization on these slopes. White wine production accounts for nearly 80% of the total with Riesling being the most important varietal, though Muller-Thurgau is still more widely planted. Click for a list of bestselling items from Germany.