Klaus Peter Keller writes: "For me, Peter Leipold is on the way to becoming a young genius... He worked for two years here at our winery before leaving for Liger-Belair. He has a special feeling for wine, something you don't learn at school. His Silvaners are great, soil-driven wines that evaporate in the glass - his Pinots are one of the best kept German Pinot secrets. They are pure, precise and utterly delicious. What Peter does with Pinot and Silvaner in Franconia reminds me of what Julian Haart is doing in the Mosel... Peter's wines touch my heart."
From Source Material: As there is no easy one-liner to contextualize what Leipold is doing, perhaps it's best to just go right to the wines. If you care about fresh, soil-driven Pinot Noir with rigor and form, you will be blown away by these wines.
If you care about deep, mineral white wines with form and rigor - Chablis is the easiest comparative reference - Peter's Silvaner will simply be a game changer. In one way, it's as simple as that.
Leipold's wines were featured in our SM offer 002, Keller's "Golden Generation." They were among the most talked about wines of the collection. People - including myself and @soilpimp - literally freaked out. It's just rare to have a grower, so young, just emerge, with such a developed style, with such mature and self-confident wines.
In that way, Keller's reference to Julian Haart is even more appropriate: Julian too simply emerged as a force to reckon with, nearly from day one.
The difference - and this is me rationalizing my heavy lean into Keller's quote - is that Julian is in the Mosel, in one of the most famous regions on earth, working with Riesling, one of the most famous grapes on earth. There is a fairly well-developed context for these wines.
This is decidedly not the case with Peter. Leipold is working largely with Silvaner (which few people really understand) in Franconia (which few people really understand).
Franconia is a broad swath of land due east of Frankfurt, roughly following the Main river as it twists and turns to and through the most famous city in Franconia, Würzburg. It is a wildly diverse region (in terms of wine styles, grapes, soil-types, microclimates) with a very complicated history; there is simply no easy narrative here.
Well, no easy narrative except this: Franconia is one of the most exciting, most dynamic wine regions in Germany right now, period.
There is a whole new generation of young growers in Franconia that are wildly motivated. The region still has the coolness to shape wines of simply mind-bending rigor and finesse. There is a deep culture here of very dry wines. There is a good amount of limestone. There are a thousand other tiny but important details and they all point in the same direction: Franconia is about to explode onto the world's wine map. The "Silvaner Revolution" that we talk about, half-jokingly, is only one part of the story. The Pinots, Chardonnays, Weissburgunders and, yes, Rieslings, can be revelations.
When you travel through Germany, there is just this quiet, general admission when you talk to people who really know German wines (Keller being only the most famous of them): this region is due for some serious recognition.
And I think it's going to happen faster than you think. In five years, my sense is that the names we are just beginning to hear, that we will hear in the coming years, well... many of these wines will go from unknown to allocated in very short order.
But let's see. Five years? 2026 isn't that far away - we'll check back in then and reference this email. Let's see if it seems outlandish looking back.
For now, Peter's wines are worth the leap of faith.
Precise, mineral-driven, energetic, lip-smacking Silvaner in a liter bottle.
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