- Pfalz, Germany
One of the founding fathers of dry cellarable German Rieslings, late release wines are not just what Koehler-Ruprecht does, it is who they are. Among aficionados, even the name can elicit a nearly mythic devotion to the twin deities of tradition and time.
-Paula Sidore, Trink Magazine Vol 3
This historic estate, long managed by the legendary and larger-than-life Bernd Philippi, was purchased in 2009 and since 2011 has been in the dedicated hands of Dominik Sona. He and his cellar master Franziska Schmitt are intensely hard-working and strictly honor the arch-traditional style of this beautiful, centuries-old cellar.
Koehler-Ruprecht is known for broad, rich and minerally Rieslings, Pinots and Chardonnays sourced from three locations in Kallstadt:
- The 750-yr-old Steinacker or "stony acre" which practically surrounds the village is a very rugged, gravelly sandstone and lœss mix on top of a limestone floor, home to Pinot varieties and the estate's fruity Kabinett Riesling.
- The 120-year-old Annaberg is a chalk and sandstone site where the estate's remarkable Chardonnay grows on the limestone portion and their legendary Scheurebe is derived from the first commercial plantings of that grape in Germany, planted circa 1960!
- The crown jewel of the estate is the 200+year-old Saumagen (lœss, marl, and limestone), a 40ha grand cru of which Koehler owns a prime parcel of 4ha on the original South-East facing slope. Some of the greatest, most long-lived dry Rieslings in Germany are born here.
All wines are spontaneously fermented on their own yeasts and aged entirely in large, neutral stück (1200L oval casks) and halbstück (600L). No chaptalization, no enzymes, and no manipulations of any kind are practiced here.
These are extremely old-school wines from an estate making trocken (dry) wines before it was trendy. In fact, the estate cleaves to the old labeling practice of putting both the pradikät and the trocken designation on each wine (e.g., Auslese Trocken), which the VDP no longer allows; it was one reason they left the consortium after 80 years of membership! Koehler-Ruprecht’s wines are released conspicuously late and are best enjoyed with bottle age, particularly the “R” reserve wines. It is safe to say there are no other wines like these made in Germany—or anywhere.
For more information, click here.
There is also an excellent promotional video here with beautiful footage of harvest in Kallstadt as well as some comments from winemaker Dominik Sona and cellarmaster Johannes Lochner.
I'll Drink to That! Wine Talk Episode 487: Dominik Sona and a Conception of Kabinett