Hochheimer Hölle, Riesling, Beerenauslese, 1997


Hochheimer Hölle, Riesling, Beerenauslese

Contains Sulphites.

About Kunstler

The vineyards of Hochheim, planted on the gently rolling clay and loam slopes overlooking the river Main, find themselves rather isolated here 15 miles east of the rest of the Rheingau. After taking over the estate from his father in 1988, Gunter Künstler seems to have been successfully robbed back for Hochheimer wine some of the plaudits bestowed on the most famous Rheingau communes of Geisenheim, Johannisberg, Hattenheim and Erbach. He owns parcels in four of the greatest Hochheimer vineyards and with uncompromising grape selection, hand picking, the use of the indigenous yeasts and careful vinification, he allows their differing characteristics to shine through from the rich Hölle, the charming but mineral Kirchenstück to the powerful, spicy Domdechaney. These are a far cry from the wines of the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, being ample and rich but with a supporting vitality and purity.

Appellation: Rheingau

7,700 acres along the northern side of the Rhine between Wiesbaden and Rüdesheim where the Riesling produces classic and substantial wines.

Grape Type: Riesling

One of the world’s noblest grape varieties, Riesling produces scented, refreshing, mineral wines from dry to lusciously sweet. Its bad reputation, tarnished by the cloying and completely unrelated Liebfraumilch, is one of the wine world’s great injustices. Its heartland is the steep Mosel and Rheingau valleys of Germany, where it produces floral spritzy off-dry to medium wines packed with lime and apple fruit or, when affected by botrytis, honeyed apricot characteristics. In Alsace, Austria’s Wachau and Germany’s Franken there are some exhilarating, complex dry versions that work very well with Oriental fusion foods, as well as some stunning sweet versions. Some superb lively fruit-forward styles are cropping up in New Zealand, Constantia in South Africa and the cooler parts of Australia and California.