SYBILLE KUNTZ Mosel-Riesling
The basis for the dense and mineral SYBILLE KUNTZ Mosel-Riesling wines are mainly own rooted vines in the best and steepest vineyard sites. The largest part of the vineyard properties is situated in the single vineyard site Niederberg-Helden in Lieser, a steep vineyard site, already classified as a grand cru by Napoleon's terroir experts in 1804, when the Mosel was under French rule.
The Estate has been acting organic since 1990 and since 2013 Eco certified. Simultaneously the transition began to a complete biodynamic cultivation of the vineyards. This was certified by Demeter in 2016 – the highest level of natural viticulture for grapes and vineyards.
Since the vintage 2011 we colour coded our 6 quality categories according to ripeness level and taste profil after the „Colours of Nature“. The natural ripeness development of the Riesling berries is communicated through the colours of the labels.
Qualtätswein trocken has a green label as symbol for ripe, green fruits.
In every vintage the Qualitätswein is picked in the first week of harvest. The plots are in Lieser and Bernkastel-Kues, planted with vines of up to 50 years of age. The slope is only 30-50% incline, the soil is a mix of slate and a little bit of quartz. After the first grapes have been pressed we have a reliable indication for the potential of the vintage. The Qualitätswein is vinified dry in style and constitutes the first step of the quality ladder of our six quality categories.
Kabinett trocken has a blue label to communicate the particular minerality of the blue devonian slate, the soil of the vineyards we work with.
After the first week of harvest the picking crew is growing together and has developed a sure feeling for the quality and the nature of the grapes. Now we begin with the sorting, the pre picking. All vineyard parcels in the Lieser Schlossberg, Rosenlay and Niederberg-Helden are combed through for grapes that have already achieved their ripening potential for the second quality category, i.e. Kabinett. All other grapes remain on the vine and ripen further until the final picking. For Kabinett we also vinify grapes from the Pauls Valley in Lieser, a former side valley of the Moselle with steep slate slopes and old vines. The heat is collected here like in a parabolic mirror. The soil is 100% blue devonian slate and adds particular mineral notes into the wines.
Spätlese trocken has a yellow label symbolizing for when the berries are fully yellow and completely ripe in the steep slope site Niederberg-Helden.
The Spätlese is picked late, like the name suggests, towards the end of harvest. After one or even several pre-picking passes the main harvest starts in the top site of Niederberg-Helden. It is steep, and the sun beats down on the mountain. Here we are working in steep slopes of up to 70% incline that descend south to the Moselle river. The boxes slide down with us on the slate floor from post to post, held by the knees of the harvesters. The boxes solely contain golden-yellow Riesling grapes, from which the best dry Riesling, the Spätlese, is made.
Auslese feinherb has a violet label symbolizing for the beginning of botrytis of the berries, when the berry skin is turning from a red-gold color to violet.
The vines for the Auslese also grow in the best parcels of the Niederberg-Helden site in Lieser. During harvest the grapes are manually selected for only dark-golden almost violet botrytis grapes that have almost shrunk to dehydrated raisins. They are still a bit juicy and taste like fully ripe aromatic fruits. A number of the vines from the Grand Cru site Lieser Niederberg-Helden consist of old ungrafted Riesling vines of more than a 100 years of age that have withstood even the phylloxera. Already centuries ago Riesling wines from this site were among the best in the world.
Beerenauslese edelsüss has a bordeaux-red label. The intense botrytis leads to a higher dehydration of the berry and further dries them out causing a color change from violet to bordeaux red.
During the main harvest period the entire team picks the small, raisin-like berries out of the grapes. Towards the end of harvest entire bunches have shriveled to a portion of their original size and we pick them off the stems. These botrytis berries have already been dried by the sun, and some have shriveled to raisins. The raisins are then collected in different boxes again and pressed later separately. The raisins for the Beerenauslese are lightly dried up but still pneumatic and juicy. The red-brown colored raisins produce a juicy sweet Riesling wine with an elegant acidity and a great balance.
Trockenbeerenauslese edelsüss has a bronze like label. The berries have dried through full botrytis and exposed to continued sunlight almost entirely to fully dried up raisins and have a brown bronze like teint.
During the last picking the ripest grapes are sorted into separate boxes again. The berries which are extremely dried up and have almost no juice left, contain the highest natural sugar concentration. This essence of dried-up berries forms the highest level of concentration that can naturally be achieved through sun rays on a grapevine - a unique process. The berries have matured to raisins dark-golden to bronze in color. When pressed, the resulting Trockenbeerenauslese is amber-colored and of almost honey-like consistency. Here everything is present in perfect concentration: sweetness, acidity, texture, density and exquisite flavors. The Mosel-Riesling dessert wines have a virtually unlimited aging potential and have been rated for centuries among the best wines in the world.