Dr Loosen, Mosel

29 06 2016


I am ashamed to say it was my first proper visit to the Mosel. As I said in a previous post, the last time I had an opportunity to go it was just before my MW exam and I thought I’d better revise. Ever since (only 21 years!!) I’ve yearned to go and see these vertiginous slopes for myself. I wasn’t disappointed. To use my daughter’s phrase: OMG – how do they work these vines? I would be scared to step foot in any of them. Not only are they incredibly steep but the slate underfoot forms a dangerous, slippery scree. 01d008c7c0fce5b104c7a4f48de51a9d7baa287c4cHealth & Safety is obviously not allowed anywhere near here as there are no fences or barriers to keep you from falling off. I’m going to have to come back at harvest time and see just how they do it. Spraying for disease is done by helicopter (so if someone says they’re organic, take it with a pinch of salt as all the various owners’ parcels are muddled up).0120166b01159e767b2cf2066bb4fc3e70783acce4

We had an excellent tasting in the cellar with Matt Giedratis followed by a delicious dinner with Thomas Loosen (Ernie was in Taiwan) and some fun blind tasting (eg a 1976 Meursault Charmes, Leroy – really ripe, toffee).

Overall you can’t go wrong with these wines. At the less expensive end they are very good value and at the top end the Erdener Treppchen Auslese was so expertly balanced. Here were my favourites from those tasted:

2015 Red Slate Estate Riesling

Blue slate is more common in the Mosel but the slate is red around Erden and Urzig. Vinified in big old casks of 3000 litres this has good character on both the nose and the palate. Well made, crisp and clean.

2014 Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Dry

On blue slate which is supposed to be give a bit more of a peach or apricot note. Yes I could see this and super balance.

2013 Bernkasteler Lay Riesling Dry GG (Grosses Gewachs)

Dry wines must be made with 100% healthy grapes so a lot of selection is needed. This has a very mineral nose, slightly closed. Good silky weight. Lovely ripeness and more power.

2013 Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Dry GG Alte Reben (old vines)

Also closed, this has a spicy hint, a tiny spritz and is delicate, lacy but hidden for now.

2012 Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Dry Reserve

This has more character and power. Steely. Length is better too. You could age this 20 years and so they use a heavy dark green bottle to allow no light ingress and a slightly wider diameter cork (26mm instead of 24mm).

Then we moved to the ‘Fruity’ style (by which they mean with residual sugar):

2015 Erdener Treppchen Riesling Kabinett

A spicy savouriness on the nose – you can see where the petrol characters will develop. Touch of sherbet. Very refreshing. 7.5%abv and around 45g/l RS and 8-8.5g/l acidity.

2015 Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese

I thought there was some botrytis on the nose, but I’m told botrytis is really only used for Auslese and up. This was picked about two weeks later and has a lovely mandarin character.

2011 Erdener Treppchen Riesling Auslese

50-60% botrytis. Beautiful wine, so well balanced. Green and yellow honey and flowers. Lovely acidity. Very good.

2013 Riesling Beerenauslese

6.5%abv. Very sweet but I didn’t find it as concentrated or fine. Perhaps the botrytis here masks the terroir a little.

2013 Riesling Eiswein (not from Mosel but from Washington State!)

6.5%abv. Gold capsule. Different reference of flavours completely, toasty and very sweet of course. It’s not easy to produce Eiswein in Germany these days with global warming. The temperature has to get down to -7C. You’ve got to hand it to Ernie, he’s a very good businessman – if you can no longer make it in Germany, make it somewhere else! This also comes in a tiny 187ml bottle in a slim gift carton.



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