Künstler, Kirchenstück, Riesling Kabinett trocken, 2008
Rheingau - rumour has it was here where Charlemagne had a vineyard and where the concept of 'Spätlese' (late harvest) was invented in the 18th century (albeit by accident). While red wine is on the rise pretty much everywhere else in Germany, the Rheingau (think of the Rhine near Wiesbaden/Frankfurt) is still unchallenged Riesling country. The Künstler family are among the most prominent producers in the area, known mostly for the Riesling from the 'Hölle' (literally 'hell') and 'Kirchenstück' ('church piece') vineyards.
The colour is a pale citrus, a little shiny round the edges, with greenish notes. The nose is a little reserved at first, with yeasty notes, but soon opens up to show off delicate, precise stone fruit and melon, very fine mineral and refreshing lime, all embedded in subtle kerosene and paraffin notes. Not an in your face bouquet, but very well defined.
On the tongue yeast makes a quick appearance, which together with a little fizz and a tanginess at first gives it a very young appearance. Fruit comes out a little slowly, but eventually is almost juicy, lots of peach, some apricot and even a hint of blackberry - again well defined, with lively acidity and good mineral. Good finish too.
The Künstler Riesling is a little quiet at first, but don't mistake that for shyness - it has a strong core. Nicely done!