Keller’s Vom muscheligen Kalk comes from a single, one-acre parcel of compacted limestone formed of fossilized mussel shells, where Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris are planted en foule (a French expression, which means “planted in a disorderly fashion”). The grapes are harvested together as a field blend, and the two varieties are co-fermented in a neutral 2400-liter oak barrel.
In the glass, the wine has a limpid, pale green-gold color. Aromas of ripe clingstone peaches, apple blossoms, lemon verbena, Bartlett pears, and sea spray move in and out of the foreground, alternating with fleeting suggestions of tangerine and lemon zest, tarragon, and crushed seashells as the nose evolves in the glass.
On the palate, the wine is creamy, rich, and layered, with a deeply satisfying core of ripe orchard fruit and fresh cream that puts on weight as the wine evolves in the glass, and is buttressed by palpable briny minerality and refreshing citrus-spritzed baking apple acidity. As if a single-vineyard Daulny Sancerre were made by Maxime Barmès, this is a fabulous achievement, which underscores the value of Keller’s unique limestone vineyards, his universally acknowledged talent, and his uncommon sensitivity to the potential of his vines.
About this wine producer: Klaus-Peter Keller has inspired a renaissance of viniculture in the Hügelland, where the Benedictines of the Kloster Lorch grew some of the most prestigious wines in the Rheinland, in vineyards that were forgotten after the French Revolution. His stunning dry Rieslings have been called “the German Montrachets” by Jancis Robinson, MW, the brilliant editor of The Oxford Companion to Wine. But his noble sweet wines are no less well received. In fact, Keller has won the Gault Millau “Best of Germany” award in both categories. “If I had to name the best producer in Germany today, it would be Klaus‐Peter Keller, wrote Steven Tanzer, the world’s stingiest wine critic. “Everything he touches turns to gold.” Though lionized by the journalists as the greatest winegrower of his generation, Klaus-Peter is quick to point out that “great wine would not be possible here, if it weren’t for these great limestone soils. It’s only that someone had to remember the old tradition and just make good wine.”