Jan Matthias Klein – Little Bastard Orange (2019)

Jan Matthias Klein – Little Bastard Orange (2019)

Staff Pick

A crazy quilt blend of 60% Riesling, 25% Sauvignon Blanc, 12% Muller-Thurgau and 3% skin-fermented Muscat. The Riesling grapes come from the Krov Letterlay, a sunny, dry, grey slate site.

The Sauvignon comes from the nearby Kinheimer Hubertuslay, also slate. Each grape variety is fermented separately in steel, with indigenous yeasts and light skin contact, then switched to 1900 old oak fuder. All grapes see a mix of 1/2 oak and 1/2 steel.  

Bottled by hand right after malo, unfiltered, unfined, with a bit of lees and residual CO2. Zero added sulfur. Certified organic and vegan. 

Jan’s farming on the steep slate hills of the area is strictly organic—a very hard commitment to make. It is far easier to spray pesticides from a helicopter, for instance, than to scramble up and down 60-70⁰ gradient slopes placing natural insect repellants on each and every vine. The hard work is an intrinsic part of the winery’s founding legend, however. Centuries ago, a donkey was originally the laborer of the steep slopes in Kröv until a wolf killed it. Legend has it that the monks caught the wolf and made it do the vineyard work after it killed the donkey. Wolf “Magnus” is still the mascot of the winery today (hence the labels and names).

It cannot be emphasized enough:  these are not normal Mosel wines. They would be exceptional in ANY of the world’s winemaking regions, actually. Klein makes classic Rieslings under the Staffelter Hof label, but works with ZERO SULPHUR on this line of wines. They are unfined, unfiltered, hand-bottled, and contain varying levels of palate-tingling residual CO2. The variety of grapes is kaleidoscopic, featuring cuvees from Frühburgunder, Germany’s ruddy, blue/black-skinned “early Burgundy,” a.k.a. Pinot Noir Précoce, Sauvignon Blanc, Müller-Thurgau, Muscat, and a bewildering assortment of Portuguese grapes.

Perfumey and pretty with the Muscat making itself noticed. Light on its feet, fruity, delicious, and compellingly gulpable.

Funky Cheese, Oily Fish, Poultry

About the Winemaker

Jan’s farming on the steep slate hills of the area is strictly organic—a very hard commitment to make. It is far easier to spray pesticides from a helicopter, for instance, than to scramble up and down 60-70⁰ gradient slopes placing natural insect repellants on each and every vine. The hard work is an intrinsic part of the winery’s founding legend, however. Centuries ago, a donkey was originally the laborer of the steep slopes in Kröv until a wolf killed it. Legend has it that the monks caught the wolf and made it do the vineyard work after it killed the donkey. Wolf “Magnus” is still the mascot of the winery today (hence the labels and names).

It cannot be emphasized enough:  these are not normal Mosel wines. They would be exceptional in ANY of the world’s winemaking regions, actually. Klein makes classic Rieslings under the Staffelter Hof label, but works with ZERO SULPHUR on this line of wines. They are unfined, unfiltered, hand-bottled, and contain varying levels of palate-tingling residual CO2. The variety of grapes is kaleidoscopic, featuring cuvees from Frühburgunder, Germany’s ruddy, blue/black-skinned “early Burgundy,” a.k.a. Pinot Noir Précoce, Sauvignon Blanc, Müller-Thurgau, Muscat, and a bewildering assortment of Portuguese grapes.

Tasting Notes

Perfumey and pretty with the Muscat making itself noticed. Light on its feet, fruity, delicious, and compellingly gulpable.

Pairings

Funky Cheese, Oily Fish, Poultry