Mosel magnificence

Dr Ernst Loosen (Photo: Aleksander Nordahl)

Dr Ernst Loosen described the 2015 vintage in the Mosel as “close to perfect”. It would indeed have reached perfection but for late season rain, by which time the cool autumn weather prevented any serious damage. According to Loosen,

“The summer in 2015 was very dry and hot, statistically one of the warmest summers of the last 100 years.”

Hot summers do not necessarily guarantee classic Mosel quality. The wines I tasted suggest otherwise. I plan to taste and to buy much more Mosel rieslings from 2015.

It was a good year for botrytis at the Auslese and Beerenauslese end of the scale, although the Auslese represented here is more about varietal flavours than botrytis.

The 2015 Dr Loosen Wehlener Sonnenuhr GG Riesling has excellent credentials (top vintage, top producer and top vineyard site) but it is the wine that impressed me least, or perhaps I should say, the other wines impressed me even more. Perhaps it’s because I like the greater sweet/acid tension in the sweeter Mosel styles. This wine certainly had concentration and drive. (NZD $45)

The less expensive 2015 Dr Loosen Urziger Wurzgarten Kabinett is an absolute classic, particularly at the affordable price of just NZD $30. Wonderfully pure with chalky mineral notes and the sort of exquisite acid/sugar tension that sends a shiver down my spine when I think about it.

Best of all was the magnificent 2015 Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Auslese. It’s not cheap at NZD $82 but is certainly worth every cent. It has amazing power and purity with an array of floral, citrus, tree fruits and honey flavours that will certainly compound with bottle age. Serious wine for the cellar.

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