2016 Kunstler Hochheimer Kirchenstuck Riesling Kabinett Trocken Rheingau

SKU #1353900 93 points James Suckling

 Cool and very elegant with a wonderful delicacy and freshness. This is a dry white for conversation and contemplation. A masterpiece of delicacy with a long silky finish. From over 50 year old vines. Best through 2025.  (8/2017)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Künstler's 2016 Rheingau Riesling Hochheimer Kirchenstück Kabinett Trocken opens with a beautifully intense and complex bouquet that perfectly combines ripe white peach aromas with stony/mineral, citrus and floral aromas. The wine is ripe, rich, complex and elegant on the palate. The acidity is very fine, the wine slender but complex and persistent. A gorgeous, very elegant, superbly balanced and expressive Riesling Kabinett in the dry style. Highly recommended. (SR)  (12/2017)

91 points Vinous

 Fresh lime and cherry on the nose anticipate the abundant, bright juiciness of those fruits on a silken palate. As is often the case with this consistently fine, expressive and vigorous offering in Künstler’s line-up, in addition to generosity of fruit, textural allure, brightness and focus, we get mineral and savory layers both fascinating and mouthwatering: chalk suffusion, marine salinity, and a brothy, Chablis-like suggestion of chicken and shrimp stock. What also remains delightfully true of this bottling is that it displays buoyancy befitting the term “Kabinett.” Künstler remains at odds with the VDP, which does not permit the combination “Kabinett trocken” in village- or vineyard-designated wines (any allowable exceptions having expired with the 2015 vintage) and insists that the name of a “Grosse Lage” may only grace a single legally dry wine per collection, namely the corresponding Grosses Gewächs. (DS)  (7/2018)

Jancis Robinson

 If I had to compartmentalise Künstler’s dry premiers crus (Erste Lagen), I would call this the floral one, as its fragrance seems to comprise a fair array of meadow flowers. The floral dance ends on the palate, where a slightly salty minerality and high viscosity signal more serious intentions. A conciliatory notion of crunchy peach adds edge and complexity at the same time. (MS) 16.5/20  (4/2017)

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Price: $29.99

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Varietal:

Riesling

- 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.
Country:

Germany

- 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.