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offer 105

Max Kilburg
2023 Kabinett Quartet
*including the new "vorm Berg"*

{ "Mosel lovers of refined and playful wines have a new star to put on their radar screen!" -Mosel Fine Wines }
sold out

2023 Max Kilburg Geierslay Kabinett
2023 Max Kilburg Treppchen "vorm Berg" Kabinett
2023 Max Kilburg Goldtröpfchen Kabinett
2023 Max Kilburg Ohligsberg Kabinett

Max Kilburg, Max Kilburg, Max Kilburg!

IYKYK as the kids say; based on the last few years and Max's growing reputation, if you are interested please don't delay.

This is a profound collection of wines, a quartet that is an absolute thrill to drink side-by-side-by-side-(by-side). The mind-twisting specificity of Riesling, the details of these different voices...for this reason we *strongly* encourage the four-pack purchase. Buy all four bottles then go and host your own Rieslingstudy.

It's been almost surreal watching Kilburg's wines explode into the market. We first introduced Max's wines to the U.S. with the 2020 vintage, quietly offering them up in the confusing COVID retail landscape of 2021. They sold really well, people liked them. We were happy.

Then, a year later, our next Kilburg offer went out and the entire allocation for the U.S. disappeared in a few minutes. We couldn't believe the ferocity of the buying. A few weeks later, bottles that we had just sold for $30 appeared on WineBid and ended up trading at more than $100. Then, naturally, the gray marketers came in, smelling money and wanting to make a quick buck, buying up all the bottles they could find in the European retail market.

I think (hope?) this has settled down a bit, but still, the speed of all this has been truly stupefying.

On the other hand, we can't say Max's wines don't deserve this type of engagement; these are among the most linear, crystalline and delineated of Mosel Rieslings, dense with fruit and mineral, yet ultra-glossy, polished to a glistening smoothness. The absolutely gushing reviews of the normally staid Mosel Fine Wines reviewers was well warranted.

All this to say, the market isn't wrong here... it's just not usually this efficient?

With 2023 we have an exciting collection; tasting in March they nearly pulsated with energy, though they also carry almost heady, mouth-watering fruits and florals. These are luxurious in the way a Ferrari might be luxurious. The leather and tactile quality of the materials inside is superb, sure, yet the real show is the thrust and cut. Without the energy, you're just sitting in a really nice leather seat. (Note: I'm totally guessing here, having never actually been in a Ferrari.)

It's too early to make any grand proclamations about the vintage, or Max's wines, but the adage "follow the grower not the vintage" is proving to be more and more apt as we head into this new era of compressed harvests. The smaller estates, and those that are really doing careful work in the vineyard, are coming out on top. It's not subtle; you can taste it.

Special note should be made of the new addition to the Kabinett lineup, the Treppchen "vorm Berg." This is a small, two-hectare site just behind the estate (if memory serves). Max is now farming a whopping 3,000 square meters (about a third of a hectare) of old ungrafted vines here. I thought the wine was superb... like shockingly good - tense, agile. Do not miss this new bottling.   

The others are by now established legends for the German wine dork intelligentsia - :)   Geierslay direct like an arrow, Goldtröpfchen the most complete and balanced, Ohligsberg the deepest and densest. 

The scholars at Mosel Fine Wines were the ones who broke the story about Max Kilburg's wines. Though, in our defense, we were stuck in our homes as the pandemic began to surge throughout the world - we couldn't do our normal R&D.

Yet, it all felt both somewhat foreign and somehow familiar to read the name Max Kilburg. 

We had heard his name a number of times when he had worked with Julian Haart a few years ago. Soon after this time with Julian it was made official, Max would take over his family's historic estate, Geierslay, as the 20th-generation winemaker. Most recently, we had read about Max acquiring an older-vine parcel in the Grand Cru Ohligsberg, the most famous site rising up and around his hometown village of Wintrich. And we had heard about his own small line of wines, sourced from only 1.2 hectares, total, in both the Ohligsberg and the Goldtröpfchen vineyards. He has in the last four years expanded a bit, but I don't think he's farming even two hectares for his own wines.

For us, trapped in our homes, in quarantine like everyone else, the reviews made our mouths water. They sounded like exactly the style of wines we love: "The dry wines are gorgeous, light, intense and bone-dry. The Kabinetts are firm, precise, racy and hugely profound," wrote Mosel Fine Wines

I mean, we love most anything "hugely profound."

And so, we emailed Max and begged for samples. He got them together quickly enough, though international shipping was a mess. By the time we tasted through everything, Max was long sold out of 2019. Determined not to let that happen again, we organized a fresh-off-the-bottling-line offer of Max's 2020 Grand Cru Kabinetts - this was the U.S. premiere in the spring of 2021.

Since then, it's been a rocket-ship experience - straight to the moon. The quality is superb, the quantities are limited and the pricing is beyond fair. The perfect storm.

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