Stephan Reinhardt - 27/04/2018
Decanter (Sep 2018)
David Schildknecht, Vinous (Jan 2018)
About this WINE
Ernst Loosen runs one of the great estates of Germany. His 11.6 hectares of vines lie on the banks of the Mosel and include the famous vineyards of Treppchen and Prälat in Erden, Würzgarten in Urzig and Sonnenuhr in Wehlen.
80% of the grapes grown are Riesling and many of the vines are 60-70 years old - the area around Bernkastel and much of the middle Mosel was never affected by phylloxera, so these are the original ungrafted vines. Loosen has an organic approach to viticulture and yields are very low by German standards. These are impeccably crafted wines that display the character of their respective vineyards as well as Loosen`s winemaking genius.
Riesling's twin peaks are its intense perfume and its piercing crisp acidity which it manages to retain even at high ripeness levels.
In Germany, Riesling constitutes around 20% of total plantings, yet it is responsible for all its greatest wines. It is planted widely on well-drained, south-facing slate-rich slopes, with the greatest wines coming from the best slopes in the best villages. It produces delicate, racy, nervy and stylish wines that cover a wide spectrum of flavours from steely and bone dry with beautifully scented fruits of apples,apricots, and sometimes peaches, through to the exotically sweet flavours of the great sweet wines.
It is also an important variety in Alsace where it produces slightly earthier, weightier and fuller wines than in Germany. The dry Rieslings can be austere and steely with hints of honey while the Vendages Tardives and Sélection de Grains Nobles are some of the greatest sweet wines in the world.
It is thanks to the New World that Riesling is enjoying a marked renaissance. In Australia the grape has developed a formidable reputation, delivering lime-sherbet fireworks amid the continental climate of Clare Valley an hour's drive north of Adelaide, while Barossa's Eden Valley is cooler still, producing restrained stony lime examples from the elevated granitic landscape; Tasmania is fast becoming their third Riesling mine, combining cool temperatures with high UV levels to deliver stunning prototypes.
New Zealand shares a similar climate, with Riesling and Pinot Gris neck to neck in their bid to be the next big thing after Sauvignon Blanc; perfectly suited is the South Island's Central Otago, with its granitic soils and continental climate, and the pebbly Brightwater area near Nelson. While Australia's Rieslings tend to be full-bodied & dry, the Kiwis are more inclined to be lighter bodied, more ethereal and sometimes off-dry; Alsace plays Mosel if you like.