From a distance, the bottles of Robert Weil are easily recognizable by their characteristic sky-blue hue. Worldwide, this color serves as an emblem for top-tier Rieslings of the utmost quality—a symbolic hallmark representing the uncompromising excellence of Robert Weil’s wines.

Max Kaindl, 27. November 2023
Reading time about 5 minutes

Robert Weil:
The German Riesling Château

Sky-blue – an icon for world-class Riesling

The sky-blue label from the Rheingau has accompanied me since the beginning of my journey into the world of Riesling. I will never forget sitting in awe before a glass of 2008 Gräfenberg Riesling Erstes Gewächs (dry) on a cool autumn day in 2015. It was the gateway to a new world, prompting me to delve deeper into the world of Riesling. For me, Weil Wein was essentially the key to the Riesling universe. Thus, I request the kind reader’s indulgence for the noticeable personal affinity in this article toward the Weil estate and its staff, with whom I share a friendship that has grown over the years.

Surprises upon surprises.

Recently, I revisited Kiedrich — a town familiar to enthusiasts of finest Rheingau Riesling. In response to my inquiry about a late afternoon invitation, I received the short reply: “Dear Max, let yourself be surprised.” And so, I did.

Despite a slight delay (thanks to the still-closed bridge in Wiesbaden), I arrived at the winery in the late afternoon. The journey commenced directly with the first — and arguably the most profound — surprise of the day. The doors to the newly completed wine archive of the estate were flung open for me. This recently excavated space nestled into the Gräfenberg vineyard now allows for a significantly expanded storage of bottles, presenting them to the market after years of maturation under optimal conditions.

Stepping into the archive, one is greeted by a lengthy room framed by large, dark tiles. At its center stands a sizable yet elegant cooling basin for wine bottles, followed by an expansive table capable of accommodating up to 30 people. With a simple press on the remote control, the milkiness in the vast window at the room’s end dissipates, unveiling the massive block quads of the new wine archive, where the Rieslings mature. The ambiance exudes grandeur and inner equilibrium — an experience akin to entering a cathedral.

With this new construction, the estate has once again achieved a seamless fusion of tradition and modernity. The wine archive radiates timeless elegance, promising boundless joy to future generations and aficionados of matured Weil wines. Of this, I am thoroughly convinced.

Time for Tasting

Following this resoundingly successful initial surprise, we retraced our steps to the manor house. Here, in the freshly refurbished spaces adorned with modern furnishings seamlessly integrated into the historic premises, I had the privilege of tasting the wines of the current vintage as well as select matured ones. Please find my tasting notes below.

After an intense yet enjoyable tasting, we wrapped up the evening with a private cooking session, about which I will not go into further detail here. However, one thing must be said. It was the third and equally delightful surprise of the day.

Side note: You can find comprehensive details about my tasting notes and wine evaluations here.

Tasting notes

Rheingau Riesling trocken, 2022
The nose opens fresh, carrying the essence of ripe stone fruits.
On the palate, it boasts a crisp acidity, a polished texture, and a subtle yet invigorating acidity kick. The wine presents itself as elegant and juicy.
Finishes with an abundance of stone fruit notes that are both enticing and succulent. Overall, delightful and refreshing. (2023-2027) – good

Kiedricher Riesling trocken, 2022
A poised nose whispers of mature stone fruits, introducing a dense yet refined palate marked by elegance, balance, and a polished acidity.
The finish is juicy, carried by a delicate velvety texture. A brief journey, revealing quiet sophistication and flavorful finesse. Fantastic and quite enjoybale over the next 5-10 years. – good

Klosterberg Riesling trocken, 2022
Aromas of ripe stone fruits, deep and subtly exotic with hints of honey and wax.
The palate is dense and intense, marked by fine acidity and a creamy texture.
The finish is juicy, long, and warming, creating a rich and memorable tasting experience. (2024-2030) – very good

Turmberg Riesling trocken, 2022
Stony, dark nose featuring wildflowers and herbs.
The palate is taut, with a slightly sharp acidity yet to find complete balance.
The finish hints at spice and a fine, slate-like texture. I’ve tasted superior Turmberg vintages in the past. (2024-2029) – very good

Gräfenberg Riesling Grosses Gewächs, 2021
Fresh, spicy nose with white flowers and succulent stone fruit leads to a palate that is fine, juicy, and perfectly balanced with lively acidity.
Elegant and vibrant, the wine finishes with lingering spice, extreme length, and a lively, racing juiciness.
Showing hugh potential, this wine promises to evolve gracefully over the next two decades. Not start drinking before 2025. – great

Gräfenberg Riesling Grosses Gewächs, 2020
Ripe stone fruit, acacia honey, a touch of tobacco and malt create a complex nose.
The palate is characterized by juicy acidity, perfect balance, and advanced maturity compared to the 2021 vintage.
Layers of complexity, concentration, and a subtly creamy texture lead to a warm, malty finish that is dense and compact. (2023-2033) – excellent

Gräfenberg Riesling Grosses Gewächs, 2015
An inviting nose showcases stone fruit, apple, pear, and subtle exotic notes.
On the palate, the wine unveils maturity with hints of honey and dried fruit, complemented by Gräfenberg’s characteristic smokiness, livley acidity structure, well-balanced melty texture and pure elegance. The finish is notably lengthy, featuring lingering white pepper flavors. Lovely. (now-2034) – great

Monte Vacano Riesling, 2020
Captivates from the start with a dense, extremely concentrated nose, showcasing dark, candied fruit and subtle hints of brioche.
On the palate, it maintains its density and intensity, exuding vibrancy with a juicy-fresh acidity and a touch of creamy texture.
The finish is a dance of minty and stone-fruity notes, monumentally long and intensely satisfying – seemingly endless. Truly a masterpiece. (2025-2050) – great

Turmberg Riesling Spätlese, 2009
An oily, concentrated nose reveals ripe candied fruit and exotic notes.
The palate is dense and intense, with balanced acidity, ripe nuances, honey, and a pleasing texture.
The finish is long, warming, and finely velvety—a harmonious journey of richness and balance. (now-2042) – very good

Gräfenberg Riesling Auslese, 2022
An exotic, fresh and charmingly sweet nose leads to a palate of density, extreme juiciness, and lively acidity with a fine melt and balanced texture.
The finish is remarkably long, animated by juicy fruit and seductive sweetness. A captivating and harmonious Auslese. Remarkable achievement in such a challenging vintage. (now or 2035-2065) – excellent

Gräfenberg Riesling Beerenauslese, 2016
A seductive nose of honeycomb, beeswax, acacia, and almonds leads to a densely packed and intensely complex palate. Creamy texture, fresh acidity, and a medley of ripe fruit, honey, and spice.
The finish is exceptionally long, warming, and heavenly. Irresistibly alluring and complex, offering a delightful experience from start to finish. (now-2076) – great

Tasting‘s key findings.

First. My impression from the 2022 vintage at Robert Weil has been confirmed. The wines exhibit noticeably more ripeness, at times even warm notes, compared to 2021. Simultaneously, the acidity is often fresh and surprisingly present.

Whether the 2022 vintage will continue to develop positively with noticeable maturity remains uncertain, but this doesn’t diminish the wines’ excellent quality. Instead, I recommend enjoying the 2022 wines earlier, while the 2021 counterparts can comfortably spend a few more years in the cellar. The 2022 wines currently showcase a charming and juicy side, so why wait any longer?

Secondly, Weil wines have the remarkable ability to age beautifully, thriving in both warm and, notably, cooler years. While these wines may seem unassuming and restrained in their youth, they blossom with maturity, showcasing a timeless elegance. Each time one enjoys a mature Weil wine, it becomes a distinctive experience for both the palate and the soul.

Conclusively, what I have left to express is that, once again, I have observed that under the leadership of Wilhelm Weil, the Robert Weil winery has mastered the delicate balance of blending tradition and modern dynamism — a accomplishment achieved by only a select few.

Rightfully, Robert Weil stands as an iconic Riesling winery for over a century.

Pictures: © The Art of Riesling – Maximilian Kaindl

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