Ten out of ten for Mosel Riesling

London wine merchant O.W. Loeb recently organised a tasting tour of the wines of Mosel region of Germany, an area famed for its Riesling. So here are ten facts about Mosel Riesling and ten tasting notes on the wines tasted:

  1. Germany is the country that grows the most Riesling in the world and the Mosel region makes some of the finest Riesling wines
  2. Mosel is Germany’s coolest wine region, in terms of temperature at least, so many vines are planted on slopes that get sun, or where slate in the soil radiates heat to ripen the grapes
  3. Mosel Riesling is typically ‘light’ in style, slightly sweet, not oaky, relatively low in alcohol (7 to 9 per cent) and high in acidity
  4. Wines produced in cooler years have fresher characteristics and notes of lime and apple. Wines from warmer seasons feature notes of mango, peach and tropical fruits
  5. Some Riesling has an aroma of crushed or wet rocks. Older Riesling can develop aromas of volatile aromatic substances, such as petrol
  6. Wine classifications include Kabinett (lighter wines), Spatlese (later harvest, riper grapes) and Auslese (select late harvest, made from very ripe grapes)
  7. All of the above classifications can be produced as dry (trocken), off-dry (halbtrocken) or in a sweeter, fruitier style of wine
  8. Generally Auslese is sweeter than Spatlese, which as sweeter than Kabinett. Some Auslese has an element of noble rot (botrytis) and is almost at dessert wine levels of sweetness
  9. For a Riesling to be described as dry it needs to have less that nine grams of residual sugar per litre
  10. Riesling can age very well, some can be as long-lived as top quality red Bordeaux (up to 100 years)

The wines:

  1. 2009 Schloss Lieser Feinherb, Thomas Haag. Aromatic, crisp and fresh with pineapple and a dry finish.
  2. 2008 Maximin Grunhauser Abtsberg Kabinett. Herby aromas of cut grass. Sweetness with good acidity to balance.
  3. 2009 Graacher Himmelreich Kabinett, JJ Prum. Lemon and tropical fruit aromas with an oily texture, nice.
  4. 2010 Rausch Kabinett, Forstmeister Zilliken. Lots of honeyed fruit and good acidity, very good.
  5. 2009 Scharzofberger Spatlese, Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt. Appley aromas, oily texture, savoury, bright and refreshing.
  6. 2007 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spatlese, JJ Prum. Very aromatic, oily and round. Sweetness a bit cloying.
  7. 2006 Wolfer Goldgrube Spatlese, Daniel Vollenweider. Very elegant honeyed aroma. Sweet with botrytis but nicely balanced.
  8. 2004 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese, JJ Prum. Very aromatic honey aroma, deliciously crisp and fresh.
  9. 2003 Kanzemer Horecker Auslese, Von Hovel. Marmalade nose and exotic fruits. Very rich and sweet.
  10. 1999 Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberg Auslese No22, C Tyrell. Sweet citrus and lime nose. Steely, crisp and light with pineapple fruit, lovely to drink.

In addition to the above, O.W. Loeb also has a big selection of 2012 Riesling to buy en primeur.

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