Perhaps because of decades without the right ambassador to promote them, the vineyards around Traben-Trarbach as the Middle Mosel segues into aptly-named “Terrassenmosel” aren’t household names even amongst most Riesling lovers. But in generations past, and at the pinnacle of German wine’s international fame, sites such as Enkircher Ellergrub, Enkircher Steffensberg and Trabener Gaispfad rightfully enjoyed the reputation of being amongst the Mosel’s most revered vineyards. But there are two significant advantages to the fact that the limelight had since eluded this corner of the region… First, it meant that even up to about 10 years ago, an upstart grower with limited resources could afford to purchase choice parcels here and second, the vineyards never underwent flurbereinigungso there is a significant proportion of ungrafted Riesling vines here (the estate in question works with about 80% ungrafted vines!).
Konstantin Weiser and Alexandra Künstler have been lovingly farming vineyards in Traben-Trarbach, Enkirch and Wolf since the 2005 vintage, gently ushering the wine into being in their quaint cellars. The estate is now up to almost 4 hectares and Konstantin and Alexandra do absolutely everything themselves. The vineyards are farmed organically (not at all easy in these environs), fermentation is carried out in old fuder as well as stainless steel tank with exclusively indigenous yeasts and both chaptalization and the use of sussreserve are systematically avoided.
The proprietors themselves are some of the kindest and most passionate people that you could hope to meet and this affection and dedication are communicated through their wines. A typical Weiser-Künstler Riesling has boundless energy and levity and is simultaneously light and excruciatingly flavourful. Their off-dry wines are always perky and slatey and their dry wines are laserbeams of rocks and fruit. Like any great producer, their wines are impeccably balanced but a Weiser-Künstler Riesling seems to achieve this balance with less weight and density than their colleagues – their red-fruit-laced, stony masterpieces are sole-affirming and life-enriching gifts to the world. If you see them on our shelf, buy them.
What little quantities we get sell quickly, partly because we ourselves drink them with a particularly rabid thirst.