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the sin of sugar
in dry Franconia

{This wine is so illegal that Leipold can't even spell out the "K" word in full...}
sold out

2022 Leipold Riesling K*b!n@

Maybe this is one of the many reasons I love Franconia; it's just so anachronistic, singular... curious. Here is a culture unto itself.

In the 1970s, as the German wine law anointed sweet wines with what we call the Prädikat system (that Kabinett, Spätlese, and Auslese trilogy), Franconia went the opposite direction, not only staying true to its culture of dry wines, but going so far as to outlaw the category of Kabinett wines with residual sugar.

In Franconia, you can have a "Kabinett Trocken," you just can't have a plain old "Kabinett."

Which brings us to today's rarity, a wine so illegal that Peter Leipold has had to label it with the fantasy name of "K*b!n@" - though you can probably read between the letters?

Here we have a Franken Kabinett with a touch of the soul of the Mosel. Outside of Julian Haart or Lauer or Ludes or Stein or Hofgut Falkenstein, I don't think I've ever come across such extreme numbers. Leipold's K*b!n@ holds 47 grams of residual sugar within its nervous, shivering mid-palate, with a tension that incredibly dances between dry tasting and off-dry.

This wine may actually be electric, or at least capable of conducting electrical current, with a jaw-dropping acidity of 11.9 grams per liter! When the grapes were picked on September 26th, with 81 degrees Oechsle, the freshly pressed must had 12.5 grams of acidity with a pH of 2.6!

These are thrilling numbers and the finished wine does not disappoint.

This Riesling K*b!n@ is airy, soaring, angelic and polished, green citrus spun tightly around a limestone core. The energy - the kinetic force - of this wine is staggering. It's like drinking gale force winds perfumed with flowers. The wine has the ability to register as both dry and decidedly off-dry, simultaneously.

I have had few wines outside of the Mosel and Saar that are capable of such extreme, such beautiful, contortions.

I know this is a sales email and I'm supposed to write things like this, but: Damn, you really should buy this wine. It is singular and dazzling and worth twice the tariff.

The Leipold estate is one of those great stories. Yes, Keller introduced us to Peter Leipold with incredibly warm words. We've quoted them oft: “For me, Peter Leipold is on the way to becoming a young genius… Peter’s wines touch my heart.”

We've had a similar reaction; it seems many people have. We introduced these wines to the U.S. with modest ambitions. If there are tougher things to sell then Franconian Silvaner, I haven't met many of them. Yet, despite this, Leipold has found a very strong following. There are few wines with such a polished crystalline texture, as if the wines were made of liquid porcelain. There are few wines that are so obviously delicious - and people have noticed this.

Yet today's wine has a deeper connection with Keller, and that is the genetic material that Peter planted: He cut it himself from Keller's Morstein vineyard (with the KP and Julia's blessing of course). Follow this genetic material even further back and you learn that Keller sourced the vines from the Saar, from a selection massale planting in the famous Wiltinger Gottesfuss.

And now, maybe (?), our story makes a full circle: Franconia with the soul of the Mosel?

Well, in a way, yes. Though we should mention this "Mosel-in-Franconia" is a tiny, tiny place. Peter planted only a very small vineyard with these vines. In 2022, less than 60 cases of this Kabinett, total, were made.

We have secured some for ourselves, we hope you do too.

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