Join us in celebrating Riesling Week in collaboration with Wines of Germany. Riesling fans are in for a treat as we taste through an incredible lineup from the most notable winemakers across the Mosel, Rheinhessen and Nahe regions. In recent years, there has been a shift away from the traditionally sweet styles of the Auslese and beyond, with many producers opting to focus on drier styles in order to better reflect the terroir in which they come from. The legendary Klaus-Peter Keller of Weingut Keller in the Rheinhessen are among one of the most notable to break from this tradition, and his dry Riesling, the G-Max, has since become his estate’s most celebrated and sought-after crown jewel. Weingut Tesch in the Nahe Valley speaks of the same story, with microbiologist turned winemaker Dr Martin Tesch who pioneered single vineyard bottlings of dry Rieslings in the villages of Langenlonsheim and Laubenheimer, going against the grain of what was expected of him by other local vignerons, but very soon proved the quality in this style of winemaking. Among other celebrated producers to taste tonight are biodynamic practitioners Clemens Busch from the steep slopes of the Mosel Valley, whose dry-mineral Rieslings grown on different colored slate soil form their different bottlings and vineyards. Dr Loosen, Egon Muller and Joh Jos Prum are also among the old-school winemakers who have long established their reputation in the Mosel Valley as some of the greatest Riesling producers there are in the world.
This is a Riesling tasting you will not want to miss as we journey through the different regions and villages of Germany and understand more about this variety and the terroir in its much-celebrated birth home.
A dry, light, citrus-driven Riesling, displaying clean notes of green apples, grapefruits, limes and lemon-zest. Bright acidity on the palate which really drives the citrus fruits, and offers an incredibly refreshing, mineral finish.
Tesch St. Remigiusberg Riesling 2016
The Remigiusberg is a special plot with old vines planted on volcanic soils. It's among the most vibrant and full-bodied of Tesch's single vineyards, with an immediate whiff of gunflint, white flowers, and wetstone aromas. A very rich mouthfeel combines with intense fruit. Mandarin peel, citrus, white pepper and plenty of mineral notes delivers a really long lingering finish.
Clemens Busch Marienburg Rothenpfad Reserve Riesling Grosses Lage 2015
Dry, herbaceous, with notes of bell pepper, grapefruit and guava. Intense, mineral with complex flinty and saline notes that leads to a (white) peppery finish. An excellent benchmark for dry Riesling all around.
Clemens Busch Marienburg Felsterrasse Riesling Grosses Lage 2016
Rich, almost bordering on off-dry, with notes of red apples, honey, grapefruit, a hint of petrol and capsicum notes. A very pronounced and well-rounded style, with so much power and richness. Incredible.
Dr. Loosen Pralat Trocken Grosses Gewachs Reserve 2013
The Erdener Pralat vineyard is considered the Richebourg of the Mosel Valley and Ernie Loosen has really done an incredible job of maximising the potential here. It wasn't until 2008 that he started making dry Rieslings in the Mosel, inspired by a bottle of 1948 dry Ürziger Würzgarten that he found in his cellars and was made by his grandfather. Indigenous yeasts, 3000 litre casks, and lees ageing sans-battonage have helped to produce a really top-notch dry Riesling worthy of the Loosen name. Ripe, full-bodied and powerful, with spicy red fruits dominating the palate. Red apples, ripe pinepapples, passionfruits, star fruits, with an almost tropical minerality. This is stunning and one of the wines of the night.
Weingut Keller G Max Riesling 2006
Klaus-Peter Keller is responsible for this cult dry-German Riesling that has been Christies auction house calling it "the Montrachet of Germany". The G-Max is their crown jewel, coming from an undisclosed Grand Cru site and perhaps it is this mystery combined with the incredible power and longevity of their wines that has led to the extraordinary rise in fame of this producer. Tasting this was an incredible experience, just gently nosing the glass showed ripe exotic fruits, tropical aromas, stone fruits, black currants, with a waxy texture. A very atypical Riesling, with a smoky, flinty finish. It's almost reminiscient of a mature Condrieu.
Markus Molitor Ockfener Bockstein Kabinett (Green Capsule) 2015
Medium dry with great acidity, Markus Molitor's quality translates through into every cuvee they make, and even this "simple" Kabinett displays the elegant typical mineral overtones of a great German Riesling. Refreshing floral aromas are balanced by ripe apple and honey suckle. Ripe lemons, hint of zestiness and powerful acidity, this is probably one of the best valued medium-dry Rieslings one can find, and with only 9% ABV, it's very easy to drink!
Markus Molitor Bernkasteler Badstube Spatlese (Green Capsule) 2015
The Spatlese displays a typical richer, riper fruit, with a touch more alcohol compared to the Kabinett. Slightly nutty and drier compared to the Kabinett, but with rich, honeyed ntoes, and a powerful, long finish. Nicely balanced, with only 11% ABV.
J.J. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Spatlese 2015
Prum's Rieslings are among the most revered in the world, and rightly so. The Graacher Himelreich is one of the top vineyards of the Mosel, showing really elegant fruit. Medium bodied, citrus fruit, lemon sherbert, with floral, almost soapy aromas coming through. The bright acidity really helps to balance the rich sweetness of this Spatlese, though there is still a lot of rich, structured honey notes going on. Still extremely young, I very much look forward to seeing how this will age.
Egon Muller Scharzhofberger Spatlese 2016
Egon Muller is probably one of the most renowned and sought after producers in the Mosel Valley today, with his single vineyard Scarzhofberger releases achieving cult status. This is a very rich and powerful style, showing great layered complexity, citrus and saline notes, floral and almost biscuity, and exceptional mineral notes. What an incredibly long finish.