The Staffelter Hof Madcap Magnus 2016 is produced at the Staffelter Hof estate and house. The estate was first found in documents that dated 862 AD. It has been in the current family however since 1805 when they bought it from Napoleon’s government. Quite a few of the oldest estates in the region began their journey in a similar fashion. Since then, the winery has been handed down from generation to generation of the same family. It was primarily a bulk wine production until the late 50’s when current winemaker Jan Klein’s grandfather took over the winemaking. Jan Mattias Klein took over from his father in 2005 as a winemaker (aged 28). He continued to make classic Rieslings for a few years but in 2010/2011 started to change his thinking towards the future of the winery, and generally the future of the planet. He converted all of the vineyards to organic and moving to a more minimal style of winemaking, which also included reducing the level of SO2 used in the winemaking (Germany is known for very high levels due to residual sugar and potent acid).
Staffelter Hof Madcap Magnus grapes come from Jan’s best and oldest vineyard – Kröv Steffensberg. The grey slate gives this wine its typical Mosel minerality, whilst the good water-retention properties of the soil, especially for the vines closer to the bottom of the steep slope give it its tense acid and elegance. In this 2016 vintage, Jan went through and selected the best bunches in the vineyard and left them hanging until the end of October for a late harvest. Roughly 5-10% of the fruit was affected by noble rot.
Vinification: The only electricity used throughout the entire process was during pressing – no pumping was used and even the bottling was done by hand using traditional tools (from barrel straight into the bottle). The wine was wild fermented in old 1000L oak foudre, saw about 10 hours maceration on skins, and took almost 13 months to complete fermentation. It then spent another 5-6 months on its lees with occasional stirring during which time it went through malolactic fermentation. The wine was then bottled unfined, unfiltered, unsulphured.
The 2016 Staffelter Hof Madcap Magnus is a riesling like no other. Made from late-harvest grapes but fermented bone dry. Just under two years in barrel, a touch oxidative profile, it’s textured, complex, loooooong.
Total production = 1250 bottles