Philipp Kuhn, Kirschgarten GG, Riesling 2009

Philipp Kuhn, Kirschgarten GG, Riesling 2009

Philipp Kuhn, so his website proudly proclaims, is not only a 50%/50% but also a 100% man. Mathematically that may be sound, in a confusing way, but how does it relate to German wine? In a confusing but sound way, I would say. With his percentage rule the Pfalz winemaker stands for an internationally still overlooked, but nationally even more important trend: while half of Philipp's wines are white, the other 50% are red. And all 100% are dry. Well, every other year there may be a few bottles of sweeter stuff, but if we generously round up the 100% is probably still true.

Anyway, this Riesling is dry. A top Riesling from a grand cru vineyard. Is it more a 50/50 affair or a 100% win?

To relieve the enormous tension my last sentence has built up: we have a winner; but also a loser. The loser was my friend Oliver, in whose honour I opened the wine. While my tastebuds were singing with delight Oliver looked at me and commented: "Not bad, but I had much better wines at yours before." Had he really? My brain worked through the wines I had served Oliver over the last five or six years. A dry white wine better than this? No way! Bear with me for a moment before I solve the mystery...

...and let's start with the Kirschgarten's bouquet. Citrus, with three exclamation marks, say may notes. Also a touch of beeswax, lovely stone and/or yellow fruit, mineral, candy and a green touch of herbs and vegetable - the latter makes for a very balanced impression.

Kuhn's top Riesling also drinks very well, it is balanced and round, despite - or rather because of - the well integrated yet lively acidity. I enjoyed the fruit, the lime and citrus and the salty minerality. Most importantly though I loved the finish: It is racy, incredibly intense and very long lasting. The finish adds a whole extra dimension, it brings out the mineral and stuns with super tingly citrus fruit, it burns your gum with highly pleasant sensation. The Riesling is good, but the finish is better and lifts the wine up into delight territory.
And my poor friend Oliver, with his light cold, looked at me with confusion when I praised a finish he found flat and uninspiring. No wonder he was not impressed.

This leaves us with two lessons: 1) if you can still find it, get a bottle or two - for below €20 it is fabulous value. 2) poor Oliver.


Submitted by Kimberly Saturday, 28/04/2012

Sadly, you must have grabbed up the last bottles of Phillip Kuhn Kirschgarten GG at that price from Behringer und Sohn, because they are sold out. Also, a short google search showed that the prices of Phillip Kuhn GG have gone up for 2010 to 22 to 24 Euros a bottle and any 2009 to be found is also being quoted at those prices. :(

Another lesson to be learned - once the wine gets good (and popular) the prices start moving up. :( So now the question is: Is the 2010 Phillip Kuhn Kirschgarten GG worth the 24 Euros price? hmmmmm.... I think I am going to stop by my local wineshop, get a bottle and find out. :)

Thanks for the post!

Submitted by torsten Saturday, 28/04/2012

In reply to by Kimberly

Sadly, the GG wines all sell rather quickly... I think I bought mine a year ago or so. The reason that the 2010 is more expensive may also be that the vintage was a difficult one with very low yields; in some areas down 50%! I don't know if Kuhn was affected though.

Anyway, I'd be optimistic that Kuhn's 2010 will be worth 24€ (well, for those of us at least who are prepared to spend a little more on wine, but I take it you are part of the club, Kimberly). Let us know how you and the wine get one, and have a great weekend!