As guests at the annual winery courtyard fest (or Hoffest) at Weingut Kiefer in Eichstetten back in 2011, we went on a tractor ride through some of the terraced vineyards for which the Kaiserstuhl district is very well known. As we left the village and began ascending the vine-clad foothills, the decidedly 21st-century design of Arndt Köbelin’s new vineyard building caught the eye. Köbelin’s aesthetically pleasing bottles labels are just as streamlined.
Arndt Köbelin, Grauer Burgunder Kabinett trocken 2016
I would call this type of wine the Königsdisziplin or blue riband discipline for the best winegrowers on the Kaiserstuhl. Along with their entry-level Spätburgunder, this is their ‘calling call’, as it were. A wine made in considerable quantities but with the ambition of matching the country’s best entry-level Rieslings in quality.
Healthy pale yellow in appearance, with a smoky pear and peach bonanza awaiting me on the nose. Dry yet succulent on the palate, with a continuance of the pears and, again, a certain smokiness. This is a Kabinett with 13 per cent abv – which is par for the course in Baden where sprightly Kabinetts are few and far between. Entry level this may be, but the quality is outstanding. On the one hand the straight-lined fruit personality is infectious, on the other the finish is amply long, showing a savouriness and smokiness that would grace more expensive wines. It is also extremely enjoyable. The acidity is mouthwatering. It’s hard not to keep sipping.