AUGUST KESSELER RIESLING
Riesling fans! This terrific trio’s for you.
And if you're not a fan—if you think Riesling is too sweet, or only for novices—well, this just might be for you, too: a chance to acquaint yourself with a master of the varietal, who, it just so happens, presides over one of the most underrated (and consistently rewarding) wineries in all of Europe.
August Kesseler is an almost entirely self-made vintner—he took over his parents' estate when he was only 19—and this spirit of independence comes through in every bottle he produces.
What endears wine geeks to his wines is their soulfulness and purity, and the way they seem to express the character of the land. The Kesseler vineyards are among the steepest slopes in the Rheingau. The high elevation, combined with the rocky soil, puts enormous stress on the grapes (which Kesseler sources exclusively from VDP-classified Premier Crus and Grand Crus), concentrating their flavors.
Kesseler matures his white wines in stainless steel tanks, and allows them to rest on the lees. The results are often elegantly lean and unexpectedly complex, with a dryness that makes them irresistible, not to mention viable in nearly any setting.
"The flow of the drink," Kesseler likes to say, is the most important thing, and these are remarkable for their smoothness and drinkability, with a freshness and vivacity that many Rieslings lack.
James Suckling raved about the Lorch Riesling Trocken, awarding 94 points and noting that its “mineral acidity lights up like a firework display in the night sky.” Wine Spectator called it a "beauty,” with "complex aromas of passion fruit, orchard blossom, and mineral accenting the elegant profile and silky texture."
Minerality and freshness are key to that sheer drinkability, and Jeb Dunnuck was astute in singling out both qualities in his review of the Junge Reben Riesling, praising its "mineral-laced style” and calling it “fresh and vibrant.” Vinous was even more ardent: “[I]nfectiously juicy. ... a polished feel and buoyant finish add to its elegant aura and irresistible appeal. … an outstanding example of the clarity, levity (at barely 12 percent alcohol) and sheer drinkability for which Kesseler strives in all of his Rieslings.”
Finally, we have The Daily August Trocken—and a continuation of the theme. Here’s the Wine Enthusiast: “There's an invigorating lime and mineral exuberance ...that's reminiscent of a gin and tonic on a blistering summer afternoon. … A light-bodied, frisky Riesling full of crisp-tart green plum, lime and lemon flavors. The finish is long and refreshingly mineral."
For our part, the combination of minerality, fruit, and zip makes them immensely versatile to keep around, and especially ideal for pairing. Try the Junge Reben or The Daily August Trocken with fish and chips (yes, seriously), or the Lorch with a shrimp scampi or chicken in mustard cream sauce or (even more brilliantly) a Thai red curry.
Of course, they're also just as great alone—as an aperitif, either before or after the meal, or even without a meal at all.
At these prices, and with holidays on the horizon, it's smart to stock up. But hurry; we only have a limited number of cases.
*Offer NOT valid in-store. This offer is made pre-arrival, with wines estimated to be delivered to your preferred store in Winter 2021-2022. All sale prices are the lowest available at Total Wine & More and ONLY valid through Concierge Sales. No further discounts or coupons may be applied. Offer not valid in MI, NY, or TN. This offer is for ONE WEEK, or until sold out, and will expire on Sunday, October 17, 2021.