Robert Weil

Blue Velvet: Exhilaratingly Pure and Ultra-precise Rieslings from Germany’s Côte d’Or

With J.J. Prüm (Mosel) and Müller-Catoir (Pfalz) in our portfolio alongside Robert Weil, we are proud to be able to offer three of Germany’s greatest producers from the three top Riesling regions. The Rheingau was historically Germany’s most revered vineyard region and once produced the world’s most expensive wines. You only need to glance at a wine map of Germany to see why. This is Riesling’s Côte d’Or; a series of sheer, south-facing, rocky slopes that maximise exposure to the sun and protect the vines from the bitter northern winds. It is this confluence of natural elements that enables Riesling to perfectly ripen in this very marginal, northern climate. With some of the highest and most admired vineyards in the region, Robert Weil is today, the superstar of the Rheingau.

Based in the town of Kiedrich, Weil’s wines are fuelled by three epic, high-altitude, south-facing vineyards in Klosterberg, Turmberg and most famously, Gräfenberg, all situated in the foothills of the Taunus Mountains. From these historic sites, Wilhelm Weil, a pioneer of ‘earth to glass’ wine growing, guides Rheingau Riesling to its most seamless, precise expression and, in doing so, produces some of the world’s most inspirational examples of the grape.

The quality and class are evident from the very first wine (the Rheingau Trocken) and the wines become finer, more intense and more overtly mineral as you head up the range.

While Wilhelm Weil’s meticulous, everything by hand, berry by berry, approach, is a key factor in understanding the remarkable precision of these wines, it is, as always, the vineyards that dictate the ultimate quality and personality of the wines produced. These steep, stony, mineral-rich vineyards are managed in order to maximise their terroir expression. Herbicides are never used, and as the aim here is to encourage life in the soil, only organic manure is applied, and cover crops are grown to add to the organic matter. Grapes are harvested by hand with as many as 17 passes through the vineyard, ensuring only the most pristine and perfectly ripe grapes make it into each wine. In the winery, all fruit receives a pre-ferment maceration, typically between 6-24 hours (or a lengthy 72 hours for the Erstes Gewächs). There is a very gentle pressing of whole berries, the musts are allowed to start fermenting naturally and spend varying times on lees subject to the cuvée. The resulting wines are exhilaratingly pure and ultra-precise Rieslings, each intense in both fruit and mineral punch.

The Range

Robert Weil Kiedrich Turmberg Riesling Trocken 2021
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Robert Weil Kiedrich Turmberg Riesling Trocken 2021

As in the Klosterberg site, the vines here sit in the 30- to 50-year-old range. The name Turmberg—or ‘tower hill’—derives from the ruins of the last surviving tower of the former castle, Burg Scharfenstein (12th century), positioned dramatically atop the vineyard. The infamous German wine law of 1971 made this site a part of the neighbouring Gräfenberg. Yet, in 2005, Weil succeeded in having this 3.8-hectare monopole reinstated as an individual classified site in the vineyard register (historically, it had been a separate vineyard, reflecting the unique terroir). It’s interesting to note that while Turmberg has the official right to be classified as Grosse Lage, Weil chooses to bottle an Erste Lage from this steep vineyard. “There is only one tip on a pyramid,” he explains, referring to the Gräfenberg.With its base of phyllite rock (metamorphosed slate) and thin topsoil, the Turmberg vineyard offers up fruit of much more mineral voltage than the Klosterberg, and in general, is a racier wine (think great Saint Aubin as opposed to great Chassagne). Again, this stunning, ultra-precise Riesling was raised entirely in doppelstückfass for ten months.Another taut and radiant 2021, it opens with lovely, sweet citrus and floral charm complemented by blackcurrant leaf, wild herb and peppy spice. The palate plays a blinder, with impressive density cosseted by a surging chalky freshness, striking mineral focus and exceptional length. Most would not bat an eyelid if this were labelled Grosses Gewächs.

Another taut and radiant 2021, it opens with lovely, sweet citrus and floral charm complemented by blackcurrant leaf, wild herb and peppy spice. The palate plays a blinder, with impressive density cosseted by a surging chalky freshness, striking mineral focus and exceptional length. Most would not bat an eyelid if this were labelled Grosses Gewächs.

“Extremely racy and extremely nuanced, this is a stunning example of the diamond-bright brilliance of the top 2021 vintage German dry rieslings! Crystalline clarity and purity. Only white fruits, but so many shades of pale. And the freshness at the finish reminds me of a shaded waterfall surrounded by ferns. Excellent aging potential.”
95 points, Stuart Pigott, JamesSuckling.com
“The 2021 Kiedrich Turmberg Riesling Trocken is pure and coolish on the intense and concentrated nose. From phyllite slate soils, this is a full-bodied, intense and salty-piquant, highly stimulating Riesling with lots of energy, phenolic grip and mineral tension. With fine tannin structure, the massive and concentrated body and fruit lead to a long and intense, aromatic finish. Long but still shy and still somewhat coated. Bottled at the end of June. 13% stated alcohol.”
93 points, Stephan Reinhardt, The Wine Advocate
Robert Weil Kiedrich Turmberg Riesling Trocken 2021
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Robert Weil Rheingau Riesling Kabinett Trocken 2021
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Robert Weil Rheingau Riesling Kabinett Trocken 2021

We tasted Weil’s dry Kabinett in Germany last year and immediately requested an allocation (not that we received anywhere near as much as we would have liked). Compared to the Rheingau Trocken, this release is drawn exclusively from a selection of the coolest and highest slopes of Kiedrich, principally the steep, southwest-facing Wasseros vineyard that abuts the Gräfenberg vines. Another difference is that the fruit is harvested a little earlier, gifting a wine at least a degree lower in alcohol but no sweeter. The style is a lighter, more filigreed expression with a caressing lightness of touch that dances on the palate. It was raised exclusively in stainless steel. The style is a lighter, more filigreed expression with a caressing lightness of touch that dances on the palate. It was raised exclusively in stainless steel.

The style is a lighter, more filigreed expression with a caressing lightness of touch that dances on the palate. It was raised exclusively in stainless steel.

“Wonderfully floral and animating, but also peachy and succulent. This could almost be from the world-famous Wehlener Sonnenuhr site on the Mosel thanks to the scintillating interplay of fruit and acidity, with zero perceptible alcohol. Long, wet stone finish with tons of energy.”
93 points, Stuart Pigott, JamesSuckling.com
Robert Weil Rheingau Riesling Kabinett Trocken 2021
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Robert Weil Kiedricher Riesling Trocken 2021
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Robert Weil Kiedricher Riesling Trocken 2021

Weil’s ‘villages’ level Riesling is a blend of first-picked parcels from the classified hillside estate sites of Klosterberg, Turmberg and Gräfenberg as well as a measure of Wasseros fruit. As you would expect from such terroir, it is a step up from the entry wine—with more texture and power and considerably more rocky and mineral intensity. Accordingly, one-third of the wine is raised in large Stockinger doppelstückfass (wooden cask) for six months.It’s full of pulpy orange and lemon goodness and driven by tangy, mineral freshness. There’s plenty of flesh, but it just skates across the palate. Compared to the 2020, this represents a return to a more archetypal Kiedrich style and it beautifully expresses both its origins and the meticulous culture behind it.

It’s full of pulpy orange and lemon goodness and driven by tangy, mineral freshness. There’s plenty of flesh, but it just skates across the palate. Compared to the 2020, this represents a return to a more archetypal Kiedrich style and it beautifully expresses both its origins and the meticulous culture behind it.

“Still youthful, but with plenty of ripe pear and white peach aromas. Sleek body with a compact structure and good concentration for this category, but still a little bit shy on the palate. Plenty of lemon zest and some baking spice at the long, firm finish. Two thirds of the cuvee was vinified in stainless steel and one third in large neutral wood.”
91 points, Stuart Pigott, JamesSuckling.com
“From the higher vineyards in Kiedrich, especially Wasseros but also younger vines from Klosterberg, Turmberg and Gräfenberg, the 2021 Kiedricher Riesling Trocken offers a clear and coolish bouquet of white and yellow-fleshed fruits. Vinified two-thirds in stainless steel and one-third in large oak, this is a round and lush, pretty generous but vivacious and piquant Riesling with intense and elegant fruit, good density and a long, saline and finely grippy finish. Still young and edgy but promising.”
91+ points, Stephan Reinhardt, The Wine Advocate
Robert Weil Kiedricher Riesling Trocken 2021
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Robert Weil Rheingau Riesling Trocken 2021 (375ml)
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Robert Weil Rheingau Riesling Trocken 2021 (375ml)

This cuvée is a blend of fruit from Weil’s high-altitude sites dotted around the village. These vineyards include the brilliantly named Sandgrub vineyard and there’s also a good dollop from Wasseros, a steep, southwest-facing vineyard that abuts the Gräfenberg vines. The soils of these sites are typically composed of stony, fragmented phyllite interlaced with loess and loam. At this level, the wine is vinified in stainless steel with less than 5% fermented in large oak. Look out for flavours of citrus oil and white flowers alongside saline and steely mineral notes. The palate bursts with leesy succulence and mouth-watering freshness, while the close is sleek and long, finishing with remarkable clarity and racy finesse. This is already a world-class Riesling, and it’s only the beginning of the range!

Look out for flavours of citrus oil and white flowers alongside saline and steely mineral notes. The palate bursts with leesy succulence and mouth-watering freshness, while the close is sleek and long, finishing with remarkable clarity and racy finesse. This is already a world-class Riesling, and it’s only the beginning of the range!

“Enticing spring blossom, white peach and Amalfi lemon aromas with a touch of herbal freshness. Elegant and racy with a tight core of wet stone minerality and fine tannins. Very crisp and bright finish. For a basic dry riesling this should age extremely well.”
91 points, Stuart Pigott, jamessuckling.com
“Round and lush on the palate, this is a quite rich and juicy estate Riesling with vibrant mineral acidity and a well-structured, persistent finish. Excellent.”
89 points, Stephan Reinhardt, The Wine Advocate
Robert Weil Rheingau Riesling Trocken 2021 (375ml)
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Robert Weil Kiedrich Gräfenberg Grosses Gewächs Riesling Trocken 2021
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Robert Weil Kiedrich Gräfenberg Grosses Gewächs Riesling Trocken 2021

The vineyard of Kiedrich Gräfenberg—or ‘hill of the counts’—has been used to designate Robert Weil’s finest wines since the site was officially classified as ‘Weinlage 1 Klasse’ in 1867. Home to Weil’s oldest vines (up to 80 years of age), with the majority on their own rootstock, it makes perfect sense that Wilhelm Weil decided that it was only from this site that his Grosse Gewächs would derive (despite the fact that he could actually release three GGs from all his single vineyards). Weil’s aim has been to replicate the style and quality of the full-bodied dry wines that were produced in the Rheingau a century ago when the region’s finest Rieslings were the most expensive wines in the world. Despite the high quality of the Turmberg and Klosterberg, this is clearly on another level. It’s not necessarily more intense, but it’s certainly finer and more complete—a wine of obvious Grand Cru class. This year the GG was raised for 10 months (instead of 12) on lees in large, neutral oak doppelstückfass (large Stockinger casks). When you think of what we are paying now for top-notch Grand Cru white Burgundy wines, Weil’s remains an absolute bargain, matching the best of them for class and quality. Few (if any!) could match it for longevity. 

“I love the bouquet of stone fruits, Amalfi lemon, bergamot and licorice. The richness and concentration easily fill out an ample body that’s rare in the 2021 vintage. However, this dry riesling masterpiece remains precise and cool. Glides off into the distance at the long, silky finish.”
96 points, Stuart Pigott, JamesSuckling.com
“The 2021 Kiedrich Gräfenberg Riesling Trocken GG offers a clear and coolish, precise and refined bouquet of ripe but fresh and elegant Riesling fruit intertwined with lime zest aromas and flinty notes. On the palate, this is a rich, vital and elegant, very complex and mineral, dense and powerful Riesling with enormous grip and tension and a long, saline finish. This is a powerful and extract-rich wine with huge aging potential.”
95 points, Stephan Reinhardt, The Wine Advocate
Robert Weil Kiedrich Gräfenberg Grosses Gewächs Riesling Trocken 2021
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Robert Weil Kiedrich Gräfenberg Grosses Gewächs Riesling Trocken 2021 (1500ml)
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Robert Weil Kiedrich Gräfenberg Grosses Gewächs Riesling Trocken 2021 (1500ml)

The vineyard of Kiedrich Gräfenberg—or ‘hill of the counts’—has been used to designate Robert Weil’s finest wines since the site was officially classified as ‘Weinlage 1 Klasse’ in 1867. Home to Weil’s oldest vines (up to 80 years of age), with the majority on their own rootstock, it makes perfect sense that Wilhelm Weil decided that it was only from this site that his Grosse Gewächs would derive (despite the fact that he could actually release three GGs from all his single vineyards). Weil’s aim has been to replicate the style and quality of the full-bodied dry wines that were produced in the Rheingau a century ago when the region’s finest Rieslings were the most expensive wines in the world. Despite the high quality of the Turmberg and Klosterberg, this is clearly on another level. It’s not necessarily more intense, but it’s certainly finer and more complete—a wine of obvious Grand Cru class. This year the GG was raised for 10 months (instead of 12) on lees in large, neutral oak doppelstückfass (large Stockinger casks). When you think of what we are paying now for top-notch Grand Cru white Burgundy wines, Weil’s remains an absolute bargain, matching the best of them for class and quality. Few (if any!) could match it for longevity. 

“I love the bouquet of stone fruits, Amalfi lemon, bergamot and licorice. The richness and concentration easily fill out an ample body that’s rare in the 2021 vintage. However, this dry riesling masterpiece remains precise and cool. Glides off into the distance at the long, silky finish.”
96 points, Stuart Pigott, JamesSuckling.com
“The 2021 Kiedrich Gräfenberg Riesling Trocken GG offers a clear and coolish, precise and refined bouquet of ripe but fresh and elegant Riesling fruit intertwined with lime zest aromas and flinty notes. On the palate, this is a rich, vital and elegant, very complex and mineral, dense and powerful Riesling with enormous grip and tension and a long, saline finish. This is a powerful and extract-rich wine with huge aging potential.”
95 points, Stephan Reinhardt, The Wine Advocate
Robert Weil Kiedrich Gräfenberg Grosses Gewächs Riesling Trocken 2021 (1500ml)
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“Weil is widely seen as the jewel of Rheingau.” Jancis Robinson MW, Financial Times

“Robert Weil has been one of the icons of German wine culture for many years. Nothing but the finest Rieslings are produced. And as more than 100 years ago, the wines are distinguished in terms of their origins and their style.” Stephan Reinhardt, The Finest Wines of Germany

“Another of Germany's most celebrated domaines, Weil's wines are noted for their richness and purity, delivering lots of citrus and fruit concentration, without ever seeming heavy or ponderous.” Rajat Parr & Jordan Mackay, The Sommelier's Atlas of Taste

Country

Germany

Primary Region

Rheingau

People

Winemaker: Wilhelm Weil

Availability

National

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