Von Hovel Saar Riesling Kabinett 2019
Aromatically, this wine is undeniably Saar with notes of pink grapefruit, cherry, and tarragon. It has a very pleasing sponti aroma of bitter chocolate and a salty, lime zest finish. An incredibly classic expression and a ridiculous value.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The Hövel winery, formerly Grach winery, whose origins of viticulture can be traced back to the Celtic times, has been family-owned for over 200 years. In 1803 the Trier merchant Johann Emmerich Grach laid the foundation stone for today's winery.
On December 6, 1803, as part of the secularization under Napoleon Bonaparte, Grach acquired half of the vineyards of the Trier Imperial Abbey of St. Maximin in Oberemmel with vineyards, farmland and meadows. Grach's son, Johann Georg Grach inherited this Maximinerhofgut. His granddaughter married the royal forester Balduin von Hövel in 1902, who continued the business and gave it its current name. Eberhard von Kunow, Balduin von Hövel's great-grandson, took over the winery from his parents Irmgard and Friedrich von Kunow, who had bought it from a community of heirs in the 1950s.
Since 2010 the great, great, great grandson of Johann Emmerich Grach, Maximilian von Kunow, has been running the renowned VDP winery in the 7th generation.
Konz could be seen as a quaint, sleepy valley village in the Saar, surrounded by rolling vineyard hills, pastures and small houses with one modest church steeple–though it is anything but old-fashioned when Max von Kunow is around. Since assuming the estate in 2010, Max has nearly doubled von Hövel’s vineyard holdings, converted the estate to organic practices (including an intensive compost program) and he is in the process of transforming not only the viticulture, but also the style of the wines.
Following the Mosel River as it slithers and weaves dramatically through the Eifel Mountains in Germany’s far west, the Mosel wine region is considered by many as the source of the world’s finest and longest-lived Rieslings.
Mosel’s unique and unsurpassed combination of geography, geology and climate all combine together to make this true. Many of the Mosel’s best vineyard sites are on the steep south or southwest facing slopes, where vines receive up to ten times more sunlight, a very desirable condition in this cold climate region. Given how many twists and turns the Mosel River makes, it is not had to find a vineyard with this exposure. In fact, the Mosel’s breathtakingly steep slopes of rocky, slate-based soils straddle the riverbanks along its entire length. These rocky slate soils, as well as the river, retain and reflect heat back to the vineyards, a phenomenon that aids in the complete ripening of its grapes.
Riesling is by far the most important and prestigious grape of the Mosel, grown on approximately 60% of the region’s vineyard land—typically on the desirable sites that provide the best combination of sunlight, soil type and altitude. The best Mosel Rieslings—dry or sweet—express marked acidity, low alcohol, great purity and intensity with aromas and flavors of wet slate, citrus and stone fruit. With age, the wine’s color will become more golden and pleasing aromas of honey, dried apricot and sometimes petrol develop.
Other varieties planted in the Mosel include Müller-Thurgau, Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) and Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc), all performing quite well here.
Riesling possesses a remarkable ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining its identity. A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, this versatile grape can be just as enjoyable dry or sweet, young or old, still or sparkling and can age longer than nearly any other white variety. Somm Secret—Given how difficult it is to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling from the label, here are some clues to find the dry ones. First, look for the world “trocken.” (“Halbtrocken” or “feinherb” mean off-dry.) Also a higher abv usually indicates a drier Riesling.