Constantin Richter is busy, he is the 10th generation winemaker of his family's winery in Mosel Germany. He grew up with a destiny, to continue the family tradition of making wine.
Yet he still finds time to travel the world and promote his wines. We were happy to welcome him recently to our offices in Chicago.
His father comes from a long line of grape growers in the Mosel valley, traced back to 1680 when his ancestor Hans Adam Niessen founded a winery.
Since 1863 the name Richter was used and the label has changed little since.
Today they continue to make wines like their ancestors did in the 17th century. They age their wines in large old German oak barrels. This gives a light micro oxygenation to them and prepare them to withstand even longer age ability in bottle.
They believe great wine comes from the vineyard, not the cellar, so minimal intervention is done after the grapes are picked. Indigenous yeasts help create the fermentation, then they wait, and they taste.
Their cellars are temperature controlled, built into the mountain many years ago.
The slopes of their vineyards are extremely steep. Some of the most challenging vineyards in all of Europe. Working them can be dangerous and requiring the highest level of precision to manage. Harvest by hand, each site is picked separately and bottled under the historical name.
The aim is to preserve the unique character of each of the single-vineyards and to display the wines potential.
Fresh, clean and shows purity of fruit. Pinot Blanc as it's known in France is a neutral grape but shows some white pear and honey aromas. Still, dry and unoaked.
The Zeppelin Riesling is a single vineyard wine that is sourced from a single vineyard called Sonnelay in the town of Mülheim. The name and label of the wine pays homage to the period when travel by Zeppelin was a luxury. The original are deco design is from the 1920's.
Powerful and fruity, there's a bit of sweetness on the palate but ends quite dry. The high acid balances out the residual sugar.
Every time I taste the wines from Max Ferd Richter, I appreciate the dedication and hard work of the families that continue to produce them generation after generation. It's not an easy task to do in any other industry.
To hear the story and presentation from Constantin, as I've heard it before by his father, is endearing to know he is passionate about what he does.
We tasted the 2010 and 2012 vintages of his wines and was also impressed with the purity of terroir they can achieve. These wines have a freshness to them and intense level of acidity that allows them to age for decades.
When I asked Constantin how long the 2012 Kabinett will age, his response was immediately: "50 years, or so". That's impressive for a wine that can retail for less than $20.
We sometimes get library vintages from them. Available in small quantities.
Login here to view prices
Contact your Tenzing Sales Guide for more information on Max Ferd Richter.
2012 Max Ferd Richter Brauneberger Juffer Kabinett Riesling 12 / 750
2008 Max Ferd Richter Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese 12 / 750
2010 Max Ferd Richter Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese 12 / 750
2004 Max Ferd Richter Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese 12 / 750
2009 Max Ferd Richter Classic Riesling 12 / 750
2012 Max Ferd Richter Estate Riesling 12 / 750
2005 Max Ferd Richter Graacher Himmelreich Riesling, Auslese 12 / 375
2010 Max Ferd Richter Veldenzer Elisenberg Riesling 12 / 750
2010 Max Ferd Richter Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett 12 / 750
2013 Max Ferd Richter Weisseburgunder 12 / 750
2013 Max Ferd Richter Zeppelin Mulheimer Sonnenlay Riesling 12 / 750
2013 Richter Estate Riesling 12 / 750
1994 Richter Mulheimer Sonnenlay Spatlese Riesling 12 / 375
2014 Richter Zeppelin Riesling 12 / 750