Künstler, “Kirchenstück” Grosses Gewächs Riesling
Künstler, “Kirchenstück” Grosses Gewächs Riesling

Künstler, “Kirchenstück” Grosses Gewächs Riesling

Rheingau, Germany 2020 (750mL)
Regular price$90.00
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Künstler, “Kirchenstück” Grosses Gewächs Riesling

Weingut Künstler! Despite being one of Germany’s most respected winemaking estates today, that was not the case 60 years ago because they weren’t even German! The Künstlers were grape growers in Czechia until post-WWII developments forced them to relocate to the small town of Hochheim am Main in the Rheingau. Gunter Künstler has run the estate since 1992 and Kirchenstück is one of their crown jewels. Originally owned by the church, this historic vineyard has mentions dating back to the 1200s. Today, the Künstlers own just over two of the 15 hectares here, and their vines are fully south-facing with ample wind protection. 

The grapes are handpicked, with meticulous sorting to ensure zero botrytis, and both fermentation and aging occur in large neutral barrels. Their 2020 bottling is under screwcap so if consuming in the next 2-3 years, I recommend a generous decant before serving in large Burgundy stems. Once that reduction blows away, the Riesling greets you with an intense, compact profile of ripe, freshly cut green apple, smoke, salted citrus, wild herb, and white peach skin, all of which is firmly based in a bed of stony minerality. Be sure to save a few glasses for days two and three.

Künstler, “Kirchenstück” Grosses Gewächs Riesling


Western Germany


The Pfalz is Germany’s second-largest wine region (behind Rheinhessen, which it borders to the south). The vineyards are situated between the thickly forested Haardt Mountains and the western bank of the Rhine River, with soils that are rich in loam mixed with sandstone, loess (wind-blown silt), and chalky clay.

Western Germany


he Rheinhessen is Germany’s largest-production wine zone and, in comparison to some of the dramatic valleys further north, is a more open landscape of gently rolling hills.

Western Germany


The Saar River is a tributary of the Mosel (and in-cluded in the broader “Mosel-Saar-Ruwer”) PDO designation with vineyards perched on steep slopes of blue Devonian slate. The rocky soils and cool temperatures of these northerly valleys produce Germany’s most chiseled, high-acid  styles of Riesling.

Southwestern Germany


Baden, Germany’s southernmost wine region, has a long history with the “Pinot” family. The region’s vineyards were planted by the same Cistercian Monks who established Pinot Noir in Burgundy. Bordered by the Rhine River and the Black Forest, Baden has diverse soils—everything from loess (silt) to volcanic tuff to limestone, the most prized Pinot Noir soil of all.

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