2014 Weingut Keller, Riesling “von der Fels” Rheinhessen, Germany.
The dry Keller von der Fels Riesling 2014 is perfectly mature and steely, almost Chablis like in the glass with racy lime, green apple, bitter white peach and muskmelon fruits leading the way on the lean light bodied palate that also displays a salty character, stony notes, a bit of lees and a bit of earthiness. While not ungenerous, this wine is more about freshness and clarity that makes it less showy in style, though impressive and excellent with things like oysters or cracked crab. With air you get more complexity, both aromatically and with depth, adding white flowers, verbena, tea spice and wet shale, plus a bit of tertiary and forest floor elements. The von der Fels name means “from the rocks” and the winery says this dry Riesling is a blend of young vines from the Grosses Gewächs’ vineyards that Keller has with a mix of limestone, slate and volcanic bedrock underpinning. Klaus Peter and Julia Keller, are superstars who along with a few others have brought fame to the Rheinhessen, an area that sometimes gets wrongly maligned, they do a set of GGs that have a cult following, while like wines like this von der Fels are a tasty way to start exploring Keller and the region.
Now famous and vastly admired German winemaker Klaus Peter Keller, as mentioned in my prior reviews and above, is a huge Burgundy fan, having worked with Hubert and Roman Lignier as well as Eric Rousseau in the Cote d’Or, brings that experience to his wines here in the Rheinhessen, and he has a star studded collection of Rieslings, which are all coveted by enthusiasts with savvy Riesling fans grabbing these value priced Estate versions. Klaus Peter Keller and Philippe Wittmann, again as noted before, have inspired an entire generation of young winemakers leading to a renaissance in the Rheinhessen, a region that includes historic vineyards, including Grand Cru sites, like Kirchspiel, Hubacker, Morstein and Abtserde, as well as the workman like vineyard of Hipping, where these superstars have made some of Germany’s most sought after wines, with Keller’s G-Max bottling being one of the world’s most expensive white wines. Klaus Peter and Julia Keller have made Keller an iconic label, focusing on dry wines and now have a cult like following for their GGs, but don’t miss the basic estate efforts, like this Riesling Trocken, which has seen a huge rise in quality, with Keller using older vines here. While I can only dream about Keller’s Grosses Gewachs, which get Montrachet like money, wines like this one, with a touch more age on it, are cherished and give just a hint of just how good the top single cru bottlings are.
($40 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive