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“G-Max”. The G is named for his great grandfather, George, and Max, who is the younger of Klaus-Peter’s two sons (his older son also has a special bottling named for him, Klaus-Peter’s top pinot noir). The vines for the G-Max bottling are all extremely old, and from which vineyard they hail from is no longer made public. Klaus-Peter may well make it from a different parcel of old vines in each vintage, probably at the very top of one of the slopes, depending on which parcel has excelled the most in any given year, but he is no longer at liberty to say from which vineyard he has made the wine. The reason for this is the year that the G-Max was made from the oldest parcel in Morstein, Klaus-Peter (who then saw no reason to keep this information private), told all of his visitors where he had sourced the grapes from for the G-Max, only to find one of his enthusiastic Japanese fans in the Morstein vineyard soon after cutting grapes from this parcel to take home as a souvenir!
Needless to say the riesling G-Max is of a sufficiently exhilarating quality to make fans go to extremes, and now Klaus-Peter keeps his decision on which vineyard’s oldest vines will supply the G-Max in each vintage a secret, in the hopes that he will not loose half of the potential harvest of the following year to souvenir hunters. Because it does not state which vineyard it hails from on the label, it is not entitled to Grosses Gewächs status, but this does not tend to deter any of its many enthusiasts. The G-Max is Klaus- Peter’s most famous wine in Germany (and is the wine that really put the estate on the map after 2001 for their profound dry rieslings), and it is priced at levels similar to Clos Ste. Hune due to its scarcity and extremely high demand. It is indeed a hauntingly brilliant wine, but to my palate it is only a very small step up in quality from all of the other great grand cru Keller rieslings. I expect that one day a significant percentage of this particular wine will be sold off at auction, as this seems a logical venue for a wine which is so highly sought after and made in such limited quantity. I would of course be very pleased to have a handful of bottles of G-Max in my own cellar, but am very much content to have a good representation of the other four riesling Grosses Gewächs instead. For all five of these grand cru rieslings are as good as dry riesling gets, with only a couple of examples the world over that can compete with these utterly profound wines.
The Geheimwaffe (secret wapon) of the Keller family, however, is the extremly rich and powerful G-Max Riesling, which many experts believe to be the best (as well as the most expensive) dry German Riesling. It is made from the oldest vines in an unspecified Grosses Gewächs site – Keller will not reveal its source, fearing that the grapes could be stolen. And if that sounds fanciful, it is exactly the fate suffered by its predecessor, made from the oldest vines in the Hubacker vineyard. G-Max Riesling is almost a virtual wine – so little of it is made and it is so often out of stock.