"One of the founding fathers of dry cellarable German Rieslings, late release wines are not just what Koehler-Ruprecht does, it is who they are. Among aficionados, even the name can elicit a nearly mythic devotion to the twin deities of tradition and time." — Paula Sidore, Trink Magazine: Vol 3
Dominik Sona and his cellar master Franziska Schmitt
Heady wines, broad, rich and minerally Riesling, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from old vines in ancient vineyards. Old-fashioned winemaking for old-school wines, built for the long haul.
- Warmer than the Mosel and the Nahe.
- The northern extension of what are called the Voges mountains on the French side, to the west of which is Alsace.
- A bit of a Mediterranean feel with olive and fig trees
- More powerful broad Rieslings, but still with plenty of acidity and minerality
Like most of the Pfalz this is the land of sandstone and limestone, but with huge variations in composition, leading to a lot of nuance between each site.
- Saumagen: 200 year old vines are the prized possession of the estate. They own 4 hectares of the south-east facing original parcel with limestone, loess and marl soils. This is where you will find some of Germany’s greatest dry Riesling.
- Steinacker: "stony acre”, a 750 year old vineyard which nearly surrounds the village. As the name implies this is a very rugged, gravelly sandstone and lœss mix on top of a limestone floor. Here you will find Pinot varieties and fruity Kabinett Riesling.
- Annaberg: 120 year old vineyard rife with limestone, where the Chardonnay is planted and sandstone, where the first Scheurebe was planted in 1960.
Grape Varieties |
Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc
- No herbicides
- No pesticides
- No irrigation
- Only systemic fungicide treatments, when absolutely necessary
Cellar Work |
Traditional - Natural
- Spontaneous Fermentation
- Fermentation and aging in large, old, neutral oak barrels
- Extended lees contact
- No additions or subtractions, except moderate sulfur after alcoholic fermentation and right before bottling, these are meant to age
- Very old school methods of trusting time to do the job of stabilization.
About the winery |
The Pfalz is ground zero for dry German Riesling but it is also home to some of its more diverse soil types, grapes and styles of wines. Koehler-Ruprecht’s collection of vineyards is unrivaled, taking full advantage of the terroir to make some of the best wines in the region.
K-R are traditional mavericks. Being the first, or close to it to focus on dry winemaking, avoiding the fads of sweet wines last century. They continue to be labeled with both the Prädikat designation, indicating ripeness level of the grapes when harvested and “Trocken”, like Spätlese Trocken. This method of labeling is no longer allowed by the VDP, the German winegrowers association dedicated to quality wines. This is just one reason they have left the group after 80 years and continued down their own tried and true path.
Dominik and Franzi are fully committed to following the tried and true methods of this historic estate.
What do the wines taste like?
These are not gluggable, fast drinking wines, these are for pondering, sipping and contemplating.
They are built for the long haul so give them time and they will reward the patient imbiber.
Wines on Offer |
Koehler Ruprecht, Chardonnay Kabinett Trocken, 2022 $24.99 $21.99
Not to be confused with the Spätlese Annaberg we usually get from KR, this is an estate-level, lighter, dry Chardonnay at a great price. Think of it like a German Petite Chablis.
Koehler Ruprecht, Pinot Noir Kabinett Trocken, 2020 $25.99 $22.87
“Sourced from a mix of sites in Kallstadt and one vineyard in Bad Dürkheim where the soils are light and sandy. The grapes were handpicked, destemmed and fermented in stainless steel. Bottled unfiltered. "A light and fruity pinot noir that does what we expect a Bourgogne rouge to do, that is delight with bright cherry fruit that is married to a supple body and lively but not tart acidity." -Stuart Piggott
Koehler Ruprecht, Riesling Kallstadter Saumagen Kabinett Trocken, 2021 $35.99 $31.67
Saumagen, which translates to pig's stomach, is named after the shape of the vineyard (it also happens to be the region's most famous local dish). Established as a vineyard in 1810, this area used to be a limestone quarry in Roman times. The soils here are heavy in chalky marl and full of tiny individual limestones. This utterly elegant, dancing, "true" dry Kabi is considered the calling card of the estate.
Koehler Ruprecht, Riesling Kallstadter Saumagen Spätlese Trocken, 2021 $46.99 $41.35
Barrel-aged, naturally vinified, miraculously broad and precise at the same time with a heart of limestone and endless layers and aspects in this extraordinary vintage. DO NOT MISS!
Koehler Ruprecht, Riesling Kallstadter Saumagen Spätlese Trocken 'R', 2018 $164.99 $145.19
“In striking contrast with the corresponding “regular” Saumagen Spätlese trocken, here ripe apple, Persian melon and quince in both fresh and distilled form are met on the nose by seabreeze, chalk, moss, iris and wet stone. In common with other Koehler-Ruprecht Rieslings of its vintage, the feel here is polished and glossy, to soothing effect – and there is an almost honeyed sense of richness – but at the same time there is buoyancy born of alcohol not much over 12%, haunting florality and an impressive impression of underlying grip and active mineral impingement. This bottling represents the contents of one 600- and one 300-liter cask. 93 pts” -David Schildknecht, Vinous Media
Koehler Ruprecht, Riesling Kallstadter Steinacker Kabinett, 2021 $25.99 $22.87
“Very crisp, bright and juicy this is an excellent Kabinett. I love the floral and delicate fruit salad aromas. Excellent balance on the dry side for this category. Super-clean, long finish. Drink or hold. Screw cap. 93 pts” -- James Suckling
Koehler Ruprecht, Weisser Burgunder Kabinett Trocken, 2021 $20.99 $18.47
100% Pinot Blanc (the secret weapon of Teutonic winemakers!) vinified dry. A selection of older vines (40-50 years old) planted in limestone soils mostly from the Steinacker and some from Saumagen. A ""salt-and-pepper"" kind of wine, that is, saline in its minerality with a spicy fruit character. Mineral-driven and creamy with a touch of acidity lifting the finish.