Los Angeles wine expert Matthew Kaner says of the new world of German wine, "there’s more than just Riesling," and he cited the Koehler-Ruprecht Pinot Blanc as an example.
Kaner commented during an online event that people should be drinking more Pinot Blanc. Usually a sommelier suggests Riesling, it seems. However, the grape known as Weissburgunder in Germany has some serious food friendliness of its own.
The history of Weingut Koehler-Ruprecht goes back to the 18th century, with Bernd Phillipi overseeing the place for three of the most recent decades. Like his grandfather, Phillipi uses no irrigation, fertilizers or herbicides in his vineyard, and anti-pest and anti fungal treatments are kept to a minimum. In the cellar, fermentations happen in large, old German oak barrels with the spent yeast cells - lees - in the mix for fullness. He uses sulfur before bottling.
Phillipi is a busy guy, with winemaking activities on three continents competing for his time. He has brought up Dominik Sona to handle most of the cellar duties in Germany.
In addition to Pinot Blanc, the estate has vines full of Riesling, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer and Scheurebe on three different terroirs - Saumagen's chalky limestone, sandstone-based Steinacker and Annaberg. The 2016 Pinot Blanc (Weissburgunder) is trocken - dry - has alcohol at 12% and sells for $20.
The 2016 Koehler Ruprecht Pinot Blanc shows yellow-gold in the glass. The nose is laden with minerals, like a driveway freshly rained upon. There are pears and peaches, but they fight to get through the wet rocks. The palate also puts minerality first, with pear juice coming through. The acidity is not very strong, but is zippy enough to carry a salad or shrimp cocktail.
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