(This post was originally written for Vinspire and is re-posted here with their kind permission)
I am a huge fan of all things German. I love its food, I love its language (I have to disagree with Mark Twain on this matter), I am married to a German… and I certainly love its wine!
Fortunately I’m too young to have really experienced the dark days of the German wine scene in the eighties – Blue Nun, Liebfraumilch and all that jazz. Instead I have been a beneficiary of the German wine industry’s renaissance during the nineties and into the 21st century. In Riesling, Germany is fortunate to have one of the greatest grapes in the world and in the Mosel valley, Germany is fortunate to have the ideal setting for growing this noble, wonderful and exciting variety. The steep slopes and the slate soil are simply the perfect environment to grow world-class wine.
One of the best known names in the Mosel region is Dr Ernst Loosen, whose family has had an estate in the Mosel Valley for over 200 years. Ernst took over running the business in 1988 and since this date the accolades have been flooding in. Dr Loosen wines regularly win awards at international tastings and in 2005, Ernst was named as Decanter’s Man of the Year – a prestigious title indeed.
Over the last couple of months I have been tasting my way around some of the Dr Loosen wines and have been consistently impressed with their quality; in particular their vibrancy, clarity and purity.
The 2011 Erdener Treppchen Riesling Kabinett (available for £13.50 from The Wine Society) was a musty, soft yellow on pouring with a sharp perfumed aroma that reminded me somewhat of pear drops. On the palate it was slightly tart at first with an off-dry sweetness cutting through afterwards. It was light bodied, with a refreshingly clear and bright finish.
The 2012 Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett (available for £12.99 from Sainsburys) was a pale, straw yellow, which appeared light, almost effervescent. It had a intensely aromatic bouquet with a vibrant, tangy smell which reminded me of tropical fruits. On tasting it had a light, bright, acidic initial taste, which was then followed quickly by a wave of off-dry sweetness. This wine paired very nicely with a pork chow mein, with the sweetness and acidity of the wine cutting through the fatty pork and spices with aplomb.
As a fan of sweet wines, I was very glad to try the 2010 Riesling Beerenauslese (175ml bottle available for £14 from Jeroboams) which had a slightly cloudy appearance in the glass. On the nose it had a heady, sweet smell of passion fruit and on the mouth it was pure, sweet and light, like drinking a beautiful nectar.
If you haven’t already tried out some of these wonderful wines, I would heartily recommend giving them a go!