Wine Rambler-approved german wine merchants: (2) K & U

Wine Rambler-approved german wine merchants: (2) K & U

Product range: Europe, and a bit of the world. Very good covering of France and, unusually in Germany, California. Ambitious and original range of biodynamic and all sorts of alternatively made wines. Fairly great turnover, as the program is remade every two or three years and producers no longer worthy of the concept are ditched mercilessly.

Pricing: Steepish, but not outrageous.

Wine prose: Fantastic. Can be very zingy, with a journalistic talent for memorable phrases. At the same time superbly disdainful of those who don't "get it" ("it" being that K & U wines are a different kind of wine altogether): Winemakers, other merchants, journalist, and even their own customers. As arbiters of tomorrow's purer and more "natural" wine style, K & U will spare nobody in their ranting, self-serving, combative, but also very well-informed and funny wine descriptions.

Upsides: K & U immoderately describe their product range as avantgarde, the future of wine marketing, and for all the hyperbole, that is not far wrong: There's always something new and interesting that they turn up. They will sell unpopular wines of character instead of hopping onto the Parker-Express. And they're remarkably consistent in practising what they preach: Even if this or that journalist has rated one of their wines to high heaven, they don't care, and you won't read it from them.

Downsides: The really interesting producers need to ask higher prices as they work with experimental low-tech methods of vinification, low grape yields and so on. K & U has to top those prices up handsomely once more because of the work involved in seeking out those producers. This makes the more interesting stuff unpleasantly pricey, while the range of bottles below 8 € is thin and not that convincing.