November 15, 2009

2001 Loosen Riesling Auslese Wehlener Sonnenuhr

Talking with a friend recently about German riesling, I was reminded about the great 2001 vintage. For me, 2001 was the revelatory year for me regarding the riesling of Germany's Mosel Valley and beyond.

In particular, I remember a trade tasting in spring of 2002 that I was able to attend at the warehouse of then-importer Ewald Moseler, featuring newly bottled 2001 rieslings from several Mosel producers in Ewald's deep portfolio. Among them were the wines of Ernie Loosen, head of legendary producer Dr. Loosen.

Those 2001s were in general exceptional. My only complaint was that most Kabinett bottlings were a bit heavy and sweet, instead of light and lean. I remember Ewald telling me how many of them were havested at Auslese ripeness levels, which seems good in theory but not as good in practice. Such ripe year Kabinett seem to lack the acidic cut of "real" Auslese in those vintages.

Thinking again about 2001, I got out a half bottle of 2001 Dr. Loosen Riesling Auslese Wehlener Sonnenuhr. Wow, what gorgeous riesling that's still young but already showing some signs of maturity. Light gold in color with a strong pineapple and mineral, then green apple and some emerging petrol aromas. This smells sweet and ripe, but not dessert sweet. Then the flavors, ripe and rich green and golden apples, pineapple and simply excellent acidity that those Kabinett seemed to lack. There's great length and purity, I love this and am glad to have a little more waiting down in the basement.

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