2015 Robert Weil Kiedrich Grafenberg Riesling Trocken GG

Year: 2015
Appellation: Rheingau
Country: Germany
Wine Spectator: 95
Wine Advocate: 95
Vinous Media: 92
James Suckling: 93
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.0%
Price :
$79.95

2017 WINE SPECTATOR TOP 100: #99

"Very rich and complex, with enveloping flavors of baked apple, ripe citrus, nectarine and dried pear supported by a powerful structure. Lush midpalate, with a notes of dried guava, followed by unctuous spiciness on the finish, with accents of white chocolate, chamomile and dried herbs. Best from 2018 through 2026. 2,500 cases made. -KM" (WS)

"The 2015 Kiedrich Gräfenberg Riesling Trocken is the Grosses Gewächs of the domaine and opens with a great purity, deepness and finesse, with mineral and flinty flavors intertwined with discreet citrus flavors. On the palate, the GG shows a great elegance, vitality and finesse. It is a powerful and salty wine with a firm mineral backbone, great purity and a firm structure. Lots of salt and grip here, but also a mouthwatering stimulation.

To quickly sum up the 2015 vintage at Robert Weil, here are the comments from Wilhelm Weil. These comments are from when I tasted his wines in September of this year:

"Stunningly, 2015 was a cool-climate vintage in the end. Granted, the summer was very dry and warm, but since nature is adaptive and slowed down the ripening process, we had a long hang-time and received beautiful ripeness. The musts were easy to ferment and the resulting wines have a brilliant fruit combined with a crisp acidity and a great minerality. To me, 2015 is one of the very best vintages in the past 30 years. We never would have thought this during the vegetation period, though."

"However, since the Kiedrich hillsides benefit from the runoff water from the surrounding forest, the vines look very healthy and brilliantly green during the dry and hot season. There is more stress of drought in 2016, although the spring has been extremely rainy. In contrast the summer is extremely dry and you can see that the vines were not used to the drought this year. There are many more stress problems in the Rheingau this year than we had last year."

August, September and October were picture-perfect for ripening in 2015, with uninterrupted dry, sunny weather dotted with brief (and necessary) showers, Weil quotes his vintage report. "In early October, the first of our Riesling vineyards were ready for harvest. The grapes tasted magnificent and were the picture of health." The Rheingau Riesling easily topped 80° Oechsle must weight; the Kiedricher Riesling came in at 90° and the Erste and Grosse Lage Rieslings measured average must weights of 90 and above. The acidity levels were sensational and the extract values no less stunning. "We couldn't wish for anything better!"

"The crowning glory are the Spätlese and noble sweet selections, which top out at over 200° Oechsle," says Weil. The 2015 vintage is thus the 27th consecutive year at Weingut Robert Weil to see a successful harvest of botrytis-laced fruit for Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese wines. While the overall yield totaled only slightly below the historical average, the tremendous health of the berries well into late October strongly limited the amount of fruit appropriate for noble sweet wines. The qualities, however, are outstanding and made for generations. The Gräfenberg Rieslings prove the grand cru status of the vineyard, even in dry years like 2015. The wines are simply amazing, most of all the Trockenbeerenauslese, the Beerenauslese and the Auslesen. Also, the dry Gräfenberg is an outstanding Rheingau Riesling again in 2015." (WA)

"Musky floral perfume of peony and narcissus mingles with scents of kumquat, grapefruit, papaya and ripe pear. The satiny palate conveys similarly decadent inner-mouth perfume and tropically ripe fruit, with the zest and piquancy of citrus peel rendered forcefully by the wine’s 13 percent alcohol. More aggressive phenolics vis-à-vis this wine’s Klosterberg and Turmberg counterparts are typical for Weil’s Gräfenberg Grosses Gewächs, but are here partly assuaged by a glossy palate feel. And while this wine’s formidably sustained finish incorporates a major dose of mineral salts as well as alkali and crushed stone, the effect is more austere and marginally less mouthwatering than that conveyed by either the corresponding Turmberg or this vintage’s overachieving village-level Kiedricher. Not for the first time, I ask myself whether Weil’s Grosses Gewächs unnecessarily sacrifices charm in the interest of seriousness. I am hoping for an opportunity to compare several years old Gräfenberg and Turmberg in parallel." (VM)

"Has the signature mango and papaya nose of this wine. On the edge of opulence, but still fresh in spite of the considerable ripeness and power. Although this is already drinking well it should age for at least a further decade. " (JS)

Winery Notes:
TASTING NOTES:
“Grand Cru from German soil”, the finest dry wine the estate has to offer; complex, nuanced structure and minerality; a weighty ‘powerhouse’ with provocative fruit aromas and a profound depth; a grand, dry Riesling that embodies the exceptional and distinctive qualities of its terroir, and one which will continue to age and develop for decades to come.

VINEYARD NOTES:
Late 12th century saw first mention of this renowned Rheingau vineyard as the ‘mons Rhingravii’ (the Mountain of the Rhine Counts); southwest-facing site with deep to medium-deep soil, predominantly stony, fragmented phyllite and dramatic inclines of up to 60 %