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VDP Grosse Lage denotes our absolutely finest vineyard, Kiedrich Gräfenberg. It is the source of Riesling wines that reflect expressive site-specific characteristics and have exceptional aging potential. In addition to the dry Riesling "VDP.Grosses Gewächs®", we produce classic Prädikat wines with natural, fruity sweetness from grapes grown in the Kiedrich Gräfenberg site – wines that have long been highly esteemed in the Rheingau.
Kiedrich Gräfenberg: Steep sites, Kiedricher Kosterberg, Kiedrich Turmberg and Kiedrich Gräfenberg, and their extraordinarily physiological ripe grapes yield truly great crops that promise wines of great extract (substance) and perceptible mineral tones that reflect their appellations of origin.
In the 12th century, the renowned site was still known as “mons rhingravii” (literally, the hill of the Rhine counts). By 1258 and 1259, documents referred to it as “Grevenberg” – southwest-facing site with deep to medium-deep soil, predominantly stony, fragmented phyllite and dramatic inclines of up to 60 %.
Until secularization in 1803, large portions of the Gräfenberg site numbered among the vineyard holdings of the monastery Kloster Eberbach. Even in the decades thereafter, the site was owned by only a few wine estates.
At the end of the 19th century, Gräfenberg began its rise to fame. During this time, when Rhine Rieslings reached the height of their reputation, Gräfenberg Rieslings from the House of Dr. Weil graced the tables of European kings and emperors as well as the wine lists of leading hotels throughout Europe, from St.Petersburg to Prague, Vienna, Berlin, Paris, and London. Gräfenberg and its neighboring site, Turmberg, consistently ranked among the finest sites in vineyard classifications of that time.
To this day, Gräfenberg has retained its great renown. At Christie’s rare wine auction in 1999, a 1921 Kiedricher Berg Auslese-Growth Dr.Weil fetched the world’s highest bottle price for a white wine of the 20th century: DM 20,000. In the course of its centennial celebration in 2010, “VDP. The Prädikat Wine Estates” held an auction at which Weingut Robert Weil once again achieved a world record price – this time, for a wine making its debut presentation: 2003 Kiedrich Gräfenberg Riesling Trocken - beerenauslese 316°Oechsle Gold Capsule fetched € 5,117.00 per bottle.
Gräfenberg is also the only site in the world in which grapes of every quality category up to and including Trockenbeerenauslese have been harvested every year without exception since the 1989 vintage.
The stony-gritty soils of the Gräfenberg are deep to mediumdeep. Phyllite is a major component, interspersed with loess and loam. This soil composition, with its high proportion of stones and water-retaining layers, provides the site with an optimal and balanced water supply.
Tasting Notes: Stunning Trockenbeerenauslese with beautiful botrytized fruit; deep and opulent flavors accentuate the seductive dance between racy acidity and high levels of natural sweetness; a wine to put down and age for many years to come.
Vintage report 2008 / At first glance, 2008 seemed like such a wonderfully “normal” year. Nevertheless, and despite many a cloudy day in summer, the weather during the growing season was once again noticeably warmer than the long-term average. The somewhat above-average amount of rain during summer was good for both soil and grape.
The vines were in full blossom two weeks earlier than the 30-year average, and yet the main harvest didn’t begin until the second week of October. This meant that grapes remained on the vine for a long time, at least 120 days. Because sugar development proceeded slowly, the 2008 crop was able to reach an outstanding level of physiological ripeness.
This could be tasted during the harvest. Both grapes and grape musts were remarkable for their concentrated aromas, good body and high level of complexity. Even the grapes for our Gutsweine (“house wines”) reached high-end Kabinett must weights. This bodes well for the wines’ future development.
Most important of all, though, particularly in our stony parcels in the upper reaches of slopes, grapes once again remained healthy for a long time. As a result, we were able to harvest grapes suitable for producing great dry Rieslings – up to and including “Erstes Gewächs” – from our steep Kiedrich sites Klosterberg, Turmberg and Gräfenberg.
Despite all best efforts to achieve the highest quality possible, damp weather during the harvest naturally reduced the quantities of grapes we could harvest that would be suitable for our finest dry, as well as lusciously sweet, wines.
Nevertheless, Weingut Robert Weil once again was able to harvest grapes that qualified for all Prädikat levels, up to and including Trockenbeerenauslese. And this, for the 20th consecutive year – an unparalleled feat worldwide that underscores the special terroirs of our sites at higher elevations.