Our 2009 retrospective underlines the greatness of the Karthäuserhof GG: It is one of the finest dry Riesling of the vintage.
Our extensive 2009 retrospective with over 150 wines re-tasted underlined the beauty of its dry and off-dry Riesling, which can be big but also remarkably beautiful.
The 2009er Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofberg GG proved a huge positive surprise, coming out as one of the finest dry Riesling ... not only from the Mosel, but from anywhere in the world.
Weingut Karthäuserhof is one of these grand traditional Estates of the Mosel region. Essentially, it saw only two owners over its 700-years history: A clerical order and the Leonardy-Rautenstrauch-Tyrell-Behler family, who acquired the Estate after its secularization in 1811.
The Estate is the sole owner of an approx. 20 ha full south-facing steep hill, the Karthäuserhofberg, out of which it produces its highly acclaimed wines. It is only last year that, under the impulse of the latest owner, Albert Behler, and the recently appointed Estate Manager, Julia Lübcke, Karthäuserhof added other vineyards in the Ruwer to satisfy the ever-increasing demand for its wines.
This Estate has been producing some stunning wines over the years (a 1964er was still singing just the other day). One defining factor is that the Estate has been one of the first Mosel Estates to produce world class dry Riesling and this since at least the 1990s.
Ludwig Breiling, the historic cellar master from 1986 until 2009 (who started his career at the Karthäuserhof in 1966!) sees a series of factors in the Estate’s pioneering success at dry Riesling: "Our unique terroir, which combines red elements, some earth, water provision in the middle of the hill, is ideal for dry Riesling. But we were also dedicating some of our finest grapes for dry Riesling and making sure that the grapes are ideal for dry wine (our portfolio already consisted of 50% of dry wines in the 1990s). Lastly, we were never afraid of a little bit of botrytis in our dry wines, as it adds a hint of creaminess to our rather lean wines."
It is therefore maybe not surprising that its 1997er Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofberg Spätlese Trocken proved already a world-class dry Riesling: It was a highlight of our extensive review of mature dry Mosel Riesling which we published in Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 14 (Jan 2011).
One of the secrets behind the incredible success of the dry Riesling portfolio at Karthäuserhof undoubtedly lies in the unique terroir: The Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofberg proves iron-rich with quite some quartzite elements and a rather deep soil: All these things are very favorable for the production of well-balanced dry Riesling. The northern latitude adds then the finesse and elegance.
The 2009er Karthäuserhofberg GG is cut along similar lines, as Ludwig Breiling explained: "We were blessed with some ideal growing and harvest conditions. A touch of frost kept yields under control and the beautiful weather gave us ripe grapes with good but not excessive acidity, much as in 1997. Finally, the perfect weather during harvest gave us the breathing space to select the right grapes. The wine was made with a little pre-fermentation cold soak, fermented in stainless steel, and bottled, as always, at the end of Spring."
The wine proves a huge success. Simply put, it emerged as one of the finest dry Riesling produced in our extensive retrospective of the 2009 vintage, together with only a few wines by superstars Weingut Georg Breuer and Weingut Keller. Also internally at the Estate, they recognize the greatness of this wine, as Julia Lübcke readily admits: "It is somewhat of a benchmark at the Estate at the moment. I have good hopes that the 2016, 2017 and now 2018, all also from warmer vintages, will be worthy followers of this remarkable wine."
The freshness, precision and overall balance of the 2009er Karthäuserhofberg GG completely defy the big and intense nature of the 2009 vintage.
Alas, the 2009er Karthäuserhofberg GG is long sold out at the Estate. But this wine underlines a few things: the huge potential of dry Mosel (in this case Ruwer!) Riesling, the particular skill of Karthäuserhof with dry Riesling, and, last but not least, the fact that great dry Riesling really benefits from aging.
Our full retrospective of the 2009 vintage was published in the Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 45 (Apr 2019). You are a subscriber and miss this Issue? Simply send us a request by email and we will be happy to send you a copy. You are not yet a subscriber and wish to get this Issue? Subscribe free of charge by registering yourself here below and ask us for a copy by email.
Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofberg Riesling GG
The 2009er Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofberg Trocken GG displays a gorgeously complex and fresh nose of cassis, yellow flowers, yellow peach, pear, minty herbs, Limoncello and a gorgeous touch of whipped cream. The wine is compact and intense on the palate and leaves one with a gorgeously vibrating feel in the elegant, intense and refined finish. This pure and focused expression of dry Riesling still tastes incredibly young (one would not say that this wine is 10 years old if one was served it totally blind). This is one of the finest dry Riesling having emerged from the Mosel in the 2000s and a tribute to the talent of this Estate at great dry Riesling! Now-2039
© Text by Mosel Fine Wines "The Independent Review of Mosel Riesling"
Disclaimer: Mosel Fine Wines is an independent publication and has no commercial relationship with any Estate, association or organization featured in this article.