The Genius of Klaus Peter Keller
Keller's wines are some of the most sought after, and increasingly difficult to get wines, on the market today — and for good reason!
I’ve been in love with Klaus Peter Keller’s wines for quite some time, having first been introduced to his outstanding Rieslings. His Rieslings have been highly praised by the likes of Jancis Robinson who once stated, “If I had to choose one wine to show how great dry German Riesling can be I would choose a Keller Riesling. Those wines are the German Montrachets” which is a ringing endorsement indeed. Soon enough I discovered that his Pinot Noirs have equal resonates to my every perception of pleasure. To have such a profound understanding of how each varietal should be ideally expressed leads me to believe that Keller is a true genius at what he does.
The genius continues with the fact that Keller is making world class German wines in a region that was not always as well known or sought after as places such as the Mosel, Rheingau or Pfalz. Nevertheless, since Klaus-Peter took the reigns in 2001, their wines have become synonymous with the gold standard of German Rieslings and brought awareness to the Rheinhessen to the world market. The Keller family has owned vineyards in the Rheinhessen since 1789, so to say that Klaus-Peter comes from a wine-grower family would be an understatement.
Klaus-Peter takes great care of all of his vines, you can often find him doing everything by hand in one of his famed vineyard sites of Kirchspiel, Hubacker, Morstein and Abtserde. It’s his meticulous hard-work in the vineyard that yields such great results. While in the cellar he takes a non-interventionist approach, as to not retract from the beauty and specificity of each site’s terroir. For Klaus-Peter he strives for absolute perfection.
Having a great love of Burgundian wine, and even once interning at Armand Rousseau and Hubert Lignier in Burgundy, Klaus-Peter makes certain to carry his pursuit of perfection onto his red wines as well. Like red Burgundy, Pinot Noir (aka Spätburgunder in Germany) is the varietal used, pair that with the region’s rolling hills of limestone, and Klaus-Peter’s meticulous viticulture techniques, it’s easy to see how his Spätburgunders could rival the most famous of Burgundies.
Weingut Keller, Spätburgunder -S- (2016) — Rheinhessen, Germany
Sourced predominately from 25-year-old vines in his famous Morstein vineyard, this is every Pinot Noir lovers’ dream. As soon as my nose hit the glass I was taken with the “ballerina” aromatic expression (powerful yet elegant), and after my first sip it was lights out! I’m beyond thrilled with this wine and so glad we were able to get our hands on some!
Weingut Keller, “Von der Fels” Riesling (2017) — Rheinhessen, Germany
Von der Fels is one of the best examples of dry German Riesling. The grapes that go into Von der Fels come from the younger vines (20-25 years old) of Klaus-Peter’s Grosses Gewächs (great growth or “grand cru”) parcels, which are the same parcels that produce the top dry Rieslings of Germany.
2017 saw tough weather conditions which actually led to a vintage that yielded very high quality fruit, but very little of it. Production was cut nearly in half, making Keller’s wines even harder to come by, so grab some while you can! The 2017 Von der Fels is absolutely glorious. The wine has a chiseled, stony minerality, embodying both concentration of flavor and a razor sharp acidity.