This spring I had the pleasure of visiting the Mosel for the first time. I knew I loved Riesling and I knew the vines grow on the steep hillsides along the Mosel, but I had no idea how extreme these conditions actually are until I decided to hike through the Erdener Treppchen vineyard. It was terrifying. The vineyards are so steep that I couldn’t walk more than about 10 feet up a vertical row of vines before sliding down back to where I started. The fragmented slate soils offered no support for my treacherous climb so I opted for the path that zig-zagged its way up the hillside. The view was incredible and staggering; the whole time I was thinking “This is insanity, why would anyone decide plant grapes here?” Having just savored the Christoffel wines at the nearby Monchof, I knew exactly why - the wines are exceptional.
The 2014 Erdener Treppchen Riesling Kabinett is a steal at 30 bucks a bottle. Much of Christoffel's block comprises 100+ year old, ungrafted vines. It’s incredible. The wine is concentrated yet sleek with impressive crystalline fruit backed by hard-core minerality and pulsing acidity - the perfect wine to kick off #SummerOfRiesling.
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