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The other relatively large vineyard holding from which a Grosses Gewächs bottling from Weingut Keller is made is from the town of Dalsheim, and this is the Hubacker vineyard. This was the first vineyard that the Kellers owned, and it has been in the family since the estate was started in 1789. The Hubacker is also a limestone-based terroir, but in this case it is a yellow-veined limestone (as is also found in the Burgundy vineyard of Beaune “Sur le Grèves”, which is quickly becoming famous for its brilliant affinity for white wines), and which has a more southeasterly-facing exposure than the Kirchspiel. Consequently the Hubacker is the slowest ripening vineyards in the Kellers’ portfolio. Klaus-Peter reports that it is not infrequent that the Hubacker is harvested two to three weeks after the Grosses Gewächs vineyards in Westhofen. The Kellers’ parcel in Hubacker was planted in 1974. Like the Kirchspiel, the Hubacker is another great, structured and hauntingly balanced dry Riesling that again recalls Trimbach’s Cuvée Frédéric Émile, though in this case it finds most of its similarities with that great Alsace riesling in its structural elements and its never ending persistence on the finish. It is unequivocally a great wine, which Klaus-Peter describes “as often having the most exotic flavors (of the four grand crus) with a deep mineral core.”
Keller Grosses Gewächs bottlings, of which there are currently four different ones for riesling (and one for pinot noir as well- more on that later). In the village of Westhofen there are three: Kirchspiel, Morstein and AbtsE, and from Dalsheim there is only the one grand cru riesling vineyard, the Hubacker. Kirchspiel is one of the two largest holdings of the Kellers, as the estate has three and a half hectares of vines in this beautifully situated vineyard. As mentioned above, Klaus Keller purchased this parcel in 1999. The soils here are very deep and comprised of hard, limestone which runs fully fifty meters down below the surface. Klaus-Peter’s parents, Klaus and Hedi Keller had begun extensive research of their vineyards prior to Klaus- Peter and Julia taking over the direction of the domaine in 2001, and as part of their quest to more fully understand the terroirs with which they worked, they drilled more than sixty thousand holes in their vineyards to plot the composition of their soils and subsoils. Consequently the family really knows their vineyards’ soil compositions, which has allowed Klaus-Peter to fine tune his approach in the last several years.