Grapevine Archive for von Kesselstatt
Annegret Reh-Gartner, who died this October aged 61, will be sorely missed by all who knew her. Her sense of responsibility, hard work ethic and determination may have been inherited from her father, but I shall chiefly remember her warmth, sense of humour and disarming honesty.
Tasting the new vintage in her company at the von Kesselstatt winery in Morscheid was always a joy. The wines were nearly always exciting and beautifully made, but she was the first to admit with humility if one was not a complete success.
Gunther Reh, her father, had bought the historic von Kesselstatt estate and vineyards (with the help of profits from his Sekt business) when it was an almost unmanageable 100 and more hectares with vines and cellars scattered throughout the Mosel and its tributaries. It was Annegret, who had the vision to concentrate her efforts on 36 hectares of its top Mosel-Saar-Ruwer sites, determined only to make top-quality wines.
These include Josephshöfer in Graach, a good chunk of the heart of the great Piesporter Goldtröpfchen amphitheatre, Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenühr, Scharzhofberger, Ockfener Bockstein and Wiltinger Braunfels in the Saar, and Kaseler Nies’chen in the Ruwer. Each has its own distinct personality and stamp of real quality which made those tastings such a pleasure.
We were able to draw on these Saar vineyards and also the excellent underrated Niedermenniger Herrenberg for The Society’s Saar Riesling.
Though she and her Michelin-starred chef husband Gerhard had no children of their own, Annegret, as the eldest of Gunther Reh’s children was the one all the others often turned to. Her care and concern for her family, the people who worked for her and her customers was deeply felt and evident.
Her last vintage, 2015, is looking wonderful and will be a living testament to her work that we shall continue to enjoy for many years, because rieslings of this calibre age so well. But when I drink them I shall specially remember Annegret herself, her infectious laugh and warm heart.
Sebastian Payne MW
It was 50 years ago this weekend that President John F. Kennedy made his famous speech at the Brandenburg Gate. The menu (pictured), while bound with decorative cord, bore no culinary frills – smoked salmon, grilled chicken, strawberries, cheese platter. Wines on the menu that day included Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt’s Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Spätlese.
To celebrate the anniversary, after his own Brandenburg Gate speech on 19th June, President Obama was presented with a bottle of the same wine, but from the 2011 vintage.
As Annegret Reh-Gartner from von Kesselstatt says: “Proof that our wines are still memorable after 50 years!”
Our buyer for Germany Sebastian Payne MW blogged here about The Society’s Saar Riesling, made for us by von Kesselstatt, and The Society currently stocks a further six wines from this excellent estate.