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Friday, 16 August 2013

Loeb Mosel Masterclass

A masterclass of Mosel Rieslings with Brough Gurney-Randall of Loeb

An enthusiasm for Riesling is said to be the sign of a true wine geek - and whilst Pinot is expensively unreliable and top Bordeaux commands astronomical prices, unfashionable German Riesling can offer world-class, age-worthy wines at relative bargain prices.

Mosel Rieslings have a unique combination of sweet-sharpness, deftness and purity with subtle variation from vineyard to vineyard and year to year.

Light and approachable yet elegantly sophisticated, they can age for years or decades and only get more interesting with time.

In musical terms, they are the Josef Haydn of the wine world - classical, elegant, refined and nuanced, yet always easy on the ear.

2009 Sybille Kuntz Dry Estate Riesling (Mosel) £13.72 fresh, mineral with white pepper aromas, lively and crisp with a dry, mineral finish

2009 Schloss Lieser Feinherb Thomas Haag (Mosel) £13.02 very pale, dieselly nose, crisp and mineral but with balanced citrus and apricot fruit

2008 Maximin Gruenhaeuser Abtsberg Kabinett (Ruwer) £18.02 sandy pale straw, flinty minerality, ripe tropical citrus, dried pineapple pieces, weighty yet fresh

2009 Graacher Himmelreich Kabinett JJ Pruem (Mosel) £20.02 pale in the glass, yet weighty on the palate; oily texture with freshness, pure and elegant, balanced and poised. Good.

2010 Rausch Kabinett Forstmeister Zilliken (Saar) £19.92 golden yellow, dieselly nose, lots of ripe citrus, with a honeyed, peachy texture.

2010 Scharzhofberger Spaetlese Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt (Saar) £19.92 sandy yellow, flinty mineral nose, lively buzzy citrus acidity and intensity, spice and perfumey white flowers. Good.

2007 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spaetlese, JJ Pruem (Mosel) £30.12 pale yellow, mineral nose, ripe apricot and peach cut through with fresh acidity, long and complex palate with a mineral persistence. Elegance more than power.

2006 Wolfer Goldgrube Spaetlese, Daniel Vollenweider (Mosel) n/a dark sandy yellow, minerally diesel nose, full of ripe zingy sweet citrus, but fades too soon.

2004 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese, JJ Pruem (Mosel) £35.02 pale in the glass, complex petrolly nose with citrus, mineral and, unusually, a hint of neoprene. Has a well-balanced richness held in check by crisp freshness - vivaceous with good length. Good.

2003 Kanzemer Hoerecker Auslese Von Hoevel (Saar) £28.62 from a hot dry vintage, a darker yellow and from a warmer year; more aged character on the nose. Tropical citrus and very rich on the palate, waxy, peachy marzipan texture and honeyed character.

1999 Eitelsbacher Karthaeuserhofberg No22 C Tyrell (Ruwer) £37.62 from a good, warm vintage, sandy yellow, complex aged nose, weighty on the palate with lively fresh lemon and pineapple fruit, good concentration and balance, surprisingly youthful still. Very Good.

Recommended wine

Given that prices here start at almost £15, we are immediately above everyday wine territory.

Yet the step-up in quality and complexity for the older wines makes the more expensive wines the better bargains - especially for the impatient or those with no storage facilities.

My top wine was the one from the last millennium - the 1999 Eitelsbacher Karthaeuserhofberg for its aged complexity.

Other related articles
Mosel Tasting at Cambridge Wine Merchants
Kirchengut Wolf in the Mosel Valley

Loeb - website

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