How the other half drinks

by Matt Walls
Is there a quicker way to get to know someone than by flicking through their music collection or browsing their bookshelves? Both feel like a little glimpse into their soul....
94

2015 Sybille Kuntz Riesling Auslese Feinherb, Mosel

( TBC, 12.5%, www.sybillekuntz.de )

One of a series of delicious releases from Sybille Kuntz in 2015, this is rich, but not heavy in the slightest, handling its 50 odd grams of residual sugar with ease, thanks to its thrillingly vivid acidity. Honey, spices, lime and remarkable palate length are the hallmarks of this classic-meets-modern Mosel style. 

Drinking window: 2016-28Similar Wines: £20-£30, 91-95, Germany, White, Riesling
90

2015 Sybille Kuntz Riesling Kabinett Trocken, Mosel

( TBC, 12%, www.sybillekuntz.de )

A little less concentrated than the Spätlese release (as you’d expect) but this has ghe focus and freshness that are typical of all of Sybille Kuntz’s 2015s. Citrus, green tea and spring flower notes are underpinned by minerally acidity and stony, mouthwatering crispness. As pure as Riesling gets. 

Drinking window: 2016-19Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Germany, White, Riesling

Some like it cool

by Matt Walls
At the first wine course I ever took the tutor explained that Syrah and Shiraz are actually the same grape but under different names. It felt like an illuminating nugget...
90

2013 Palatia Pinot Noir, Pfalz

( £10 (down to £8), 13.5%, Marks & Spencer )

Gerd Stepp used to buy wine for Marks & Spencer before he returned to his former life as a winemaker in Germany. M&S’ loss is our gain (and they are still stocking his wines anyway) because this is an oustandingly well priced Pinot from a country that has more of the variety in the ground than New Zealand does. It’s a smooth, savoury, easy-drinking red with some spice, sweet plum and raspberry fruit, good texture and a long, supple finish underpinned by subtle oak. 

BuyDrinking window: 2015-18Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Germany, Red, Pinot Noir

Guerrilla winemakers

by Matt Walls
One wine, in one place, for one year only. It’s hard enough making wine in the same place each year, so as winemaking philosophies go it doesn’t get much more...
95

2013 Sybille Kuntz, Riesling Auslese Feinherb, Mosel

( €39, 13% )

The best and oldest parcels on the Niederberg-Helden Einzellage are used to make this remarkable wine. It’s on the dry side for an Auslese, with 51.9 grams of sugar, with the concentration and slaty minerality beautifully entwined. Floral and appealingly honeyed, with notes of nectarine and ripe pear sustained by citrus- and pink grapefruit-like acidity

Drinking window: 2014-22Similar Wines: £30-£50, 91-95, Germany, White, Riesling
90

2013 Sybille Kuntz, Riesling Qualitätswein Trocken, Mosel

( €11.90, 12% )

Sourced from single vineyard sites in Kues, Kardinalsberg and Weisenstein, this is “only” the entry point wine from this excellent estate. It’s just off-dry, with 8.3 grams of sugar balanced by acidity and crisp, refeshing flavours of green apple and grapefruit. The perfect summer wine…in 2015.

BuyDrinking window: 2014-18Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, Germany, White, Riesling
95

2013 Sybille Kuntz, Riesling Spätlese Trocken, Mosel

( €25.50, 13% )

A late picked, yet “dry” style of Spätlese from the Niederberg-Helden, with remarkable concentration and persistence, underlining Sybille Kuntz’s reputation as one of the Mosel’s best producers. Rich and slightly savoury, with smoky minerality, some stone fruit sweetness, a hint of fennel and a poised, balanced, tapering finish. Exceptional winemaking. 

BuyDrinking window: 2014-20Similar Wines: £20-£30, 91-95, Germany, White, Riesling