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Moritz Kissinger
the avant-garde Rheinhessen
new perspectives in limestone

{ Kissinger's wines offer a revelatory new perspective on the Rheinhessen's limestone, with influences from Champagne and the Jura, Burgundy and the Northern Rhône. }
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Part of me wants to just write, "IYKYK," because Moritz Kissinger has released only a handful of wines and they have all become something of a phenomenon in Germany.

The amount of emails and IG DMs I've gotten about Moritz's wines is unprecedented, perhaps only surpassed by inquiries for Keller (which is funny because Keller's enthusiastic reception of Kissinger's wines has for sure helped feed the fire in Germany and beyond).

The other part of me realizes however, that, first, I'm too damn old to write "IYKYK" with any degree of authenticity and, more importantly, helping "you know" is exactly our responsibility.

But please understand these are very hard wines to contextualize; there is a lot going on here. We'll do our best to be both complete and concise, to try and explain the hype, the magic and the beauty of Moritz Kissinger's wines.

The sparkling Blanc de Blancs is perhaps the star of Kissinger's collection. If cool-climate limestone and Chardonnay are an obvious pairing, there is something fascinating, singular, about the saline-marine cut and depth to this wine. It is a show-stopper, absolutely superb and something of a revelation. The bottle is very clearly a harbinger of things to come in the Rheinhessen. If Sekthaus Raumland made a splash a few decades ago with very compelling sparkling wines, the younger generation has noticed. Both Moritz Kissinger and friend Felix Keller have looked to Raumland, but have also both spent a lot of time in Champagne - both are good friends with Rapha  Bérêche.

Kissinger's 2020 Riesling carries this theme forward, with a saline perspective on the grape, though it flaunts the more typical citrus and stone-fruits of Riesling, as well as a plush and forceful mid-palate. The Riesling is neither razor sharp nor is it rounded; it's a pushing wine, both full and compact. The limestone current flows through it with some intensity.

The "0 Ohm" wines are what could be called the "estate wines," a red and a white that, as their "0 Ohm" name implies, ripple with energy and bounce. An "Ohm," if you've forgotten from your high school science class (as I had), is a measure of electrical resistance. In the case of both the red and the white, there is no resistance to this energy, this current. The white is a 50/50 blend of Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay with a few days of maceration. The wine is saline, with waxy citrus fruit, lemon pith and herbs. This is not an "orange wine;" it is finer and has more definition and clarity than that suggests. To me, one would have to look perhaps to the Jura to contextualize this wine.

The "0 Ohm" red is wild: it is dark and meaty, almost inky in color, yet the palate is nervy and fresh, mineral-laden and bright. This is a staining red wine, under screw cap, with only about 11.5% alcohol. Precedents here in Germany are nearly impossible to reference as this is a curious blend of Merlot and Dornfelder. For comparisons, I'd have to take you to the Loire - the bottle shares something similar with the fresher, zippier bottlings of Cabernet Franc, though the savory, meaty and sinewy quality of the wine also suggests something of a more playful Northern Rhône, if that existed... which it does not.

Of course, none of this is exactly right; the wines are more than all this - but words, as always, come up short. The only way to really experience these wines is... well, to experience them. We strongly recommend you do.

While Moritz is a fourth-generation winemaker, he is only the second generation in his family to bottle his own wines; his father began before him in 1986. The family estate is about 14 hectares total, though Moritz is only farming around two hectares at the moment for his own production. While this will likely grow, for the moment these are very rare bottles of wine. The estate is located in Uelversheim, a village in the Rheinhessen located in the eastern part of the central Rheinhessen. You can define it by where it is not: Uelversheim is south and slightly west of the Roter Hang and the famous village of Nierstein. Uelversheim is north and slightly east of Westhofen and the sites made famous by Keller in the south.

It is exactly between these two famous landmarks.

Yet, if at the moment Uelversheim is defined by what it is not, there is a very good chance that in the next decade this place will be well known for what Moritz Kissinger is doing here.

Stephen and Robert

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