With a history that spans more than 650 years (1349-1999), Weingut Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt is one of the most traditional estates in the Mosel region. The von Kesselstatt dynasty immigrated to the electorate of Trier in the 14th century. The first documented mention of a vineyard purchase dates from 1349. By 1362, Kuno von Falkenstein, elector of Trier, had employed Johann von Kesselstatt as electoral court marshal, responsible for the cellars and overall housekeeping. In 1394, his son, Friedrich I. von Kesselstatt, was appointed “court sommelier” by Elector Werner von Falkenstein. Emperor Josef II. elevated the imperial barons of Keselstatt to the status of Reichsgrafen – imperial counts – in 1776. As chief administrator of Elector Clemens Wenzeslaus of Sachsen-Wettin from 1761 to 1794, Johann Hugo Casimir Graf von Kesselstatt was the highest official in Trier. In 1787, the elector issued an edict, whereby henceforth, inferior “Rhine varietals” were to be replaced by “better grapes.” A letter in the family’s archives sheds light on what was meant by “better grapes.” In his letter dated 3 January 1789, Kesselstatt’s estate manager, Reihs von Kröv, instructs local tenant wine-growers to use “pure green Riesling” in future plantings.
Thanks to the commitment of all employees, the estate manager and winemaker Wolfgang Mertes, and the vineyard manager Christian Steinmetz, Riesling wines are produced that are on a par with the finest wines of the world. It is a particular challenge to do justice to the “personality” of each vineyard. Wine enthusiasts should be able to recognize, or be able to smell and taste, the differences of the terroirs. This is why the labor-intensive work (by hand) in the steep sites is important, as is preserving, supporting, and caring for the natural environment of the vine. Every year is a new challenge, since no two vintages are alike.
The Scharzhofberg vineyard lies in a side valley of the Saar River. It is probably the Saar’s most famous and climatically coolest site. It qualifies for the VDP “First Growth” and was also classified by Hugh Johnson and Stuart Pigott as an “Erste Lage” (top site). With 6.6 ha (16.3 acres), Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt numbers among the largest owners with holdings in the site. Scharzhofberg is a south-facing slope with a grade of 35-60%. Its soil consists of loess, as well as coarse gray and reddish slate (up to 70%). These soils are less prone to weathering than those of the Kaseler Nies’chen in de Ruwer valley.
Wines originating from Scharzhofberg are distinctive for their penetrating, salty mineral tones and refined elegance. Even very mature wines continue to show an astonishing cornucopia of ripe fruit. This aging potential and vitality are the basis of the Scharzhofbergs legendary reputation worldwide.
The smell already makes you want to empty the glass immediately! Moist slate, ripe gooseberry, blackcurrant and flint. Its flavor shows a subtle elegance with a spicy and salty minerality. Fruit is everywhere which makes this wine incredibly charming. One wants more of it!