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Max Kilburg
Grand Cru Dry January
the dry Mosel comes of age (again)

{ the first of a 3-part series }
sold out

We proudly introduced the wines of Max Kilburg in April of 2021; we had missed out on Max's 2019 Kabinetts so we quickly grabbed what we could of the 2020 Kabinetts, promising to offer the dry wines once they had been bottled.

We are thrilled to offer his two Grand Cru dry Rieslings for the first time ever in the U.S.

Check out our 2020 Kabinett offer (Source Material offer 012) for the full story, but here's a quick recap. We first heard Max's name when he worked with Julian Haart a few years ago. While Max is the 20th-generation winemaker at his family's historic estate, Geierslay, the two Grand Crus on offer today are part of his own small line of wines sourced from two, older-vine parcels in both the Ohligsberg and the Goldtröpfchen totaling only 1.2 hectares.

Trapped at home in quarantine for most of 2020 and early 2021, the reviews coming from Mosel Fine Wines piqued our interest to be sure. They wrote things like: "The dry wines are gorgeous, light, intense and bone-dry." So when we were finally able to go back to Germany, in August of 2021, the visit to Kilburg was one of our most anticipated visits. The wines did not disappoint.

Both of the Grand Crus are curious, surprising wines. In one way, they are very perfumed, almost exotic, with notes of spiced pear, cassis, red fruit and that smoke-and-spice medley that both vineyards are well known for. The flavors are very tactile, present - a tense, intricate tapestry of fruit stretched tightly over the mid-palate. Yet the wines also showcase a great minerality as well. They have a grip, yet also a lightness, an energy that provides lift and refreshment.

While the post-war period saw a boom in the sweeter style of Mosel Riesling, the region has a long history with dry wines. And now, with the aid of climate change, these dry wines are coming back with a vengeance. In warmer vintages like 2018, 2019 and 2020, the most shrill and aggressive acidities of this cold region can be polished and rounded into something that provides a thrilling support for the wines, giving them that rigidity, the structure without the harshness.

There are countless examples of the rising prominence of dry Mosel wines, from the old-school masters such as Stein or Max Ferd. Richter, Saar estates like Lauer and Hofgut Falkenstein to the Ruwer legends like Karthäuserhof and Von Schubert.

For me, Max's wines speak very specifically of place. They are not only Middle Mosel wines, they are wines of Ohligsberg and Goldtröpfchen, flaunting this incredible mix of both power and ripeness, with rigor. Just to provide some context, there is something about the explosive and ultra-sleek fruit that reminds me of the Grand Crus of Schloss Lieser or even Fritz Haag, two estates that are Middle Mosel royalty. Max is farming only 1.2 hectares, quantities of the Grand Crus are very limited. 

Yet, Max's wines are also different; you'll just have to taste them and tell us what you think. Source Material is a discussion, not a lecture.

2020 Max Kilburg Riesling Goldtröpfchen Grand Cru Dry
"The 2020er Goldtröfpchen Riesling Trocken, as it is referred to on the consumer label, is a bone-dry Riesling (below 3 g/l of residual sugar) and comes from up to 40-year-old vines in a parcel in the Niederemmel part of the vineyard. The grapes were harvested at 92° Oechsle and the wine was fermented and matured in a 500-liter stainless steel tank and an old Barrique. This cask sample offers a beautifully ample and inviting nose made of cassis, grapefruit, puree, smoke, cardamom, and fine spices. The wine develops quite some presence on the palate yet remains beautifully playful and racy right into the finish. Juicy notes of fruits add to the presence and fruitiness of this wine." Mosel Fine Wines, #58, Sept. 2021

2020 Max Kilburg Riesling Ohligsberg Grand Cru Dry
"The 2020er Ohligsberg Riesling Trocken, as it is referred to on the consumer label, is a bone-dry Riesling (below 1 g/l of residual sugar) and comes from up to 40-year-old vines. The grapes were pressed with an old basket press and the wine was fermented and matured in stainless steel tanks. This cask sample offers a refreshing nose made of cassis, elderflower, smoke, grapefruit puree, and fine spices. The wine develops quite some presence on the palate and leaves one with a nicely full-bodied feel of minerals and fruits in the long and juicy finish. The aftertaste underlines the presence of this wine.” Mosel Fine Wines, #58, Sept. 2021

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