Carl Loewen, Riesling Alten Reben, Erste Lage Laurentiuslay, 2012
This is another review about a Riesling from the Mosel! It is too ambitious to say that this is the best region for Riesling, since some people would protest – and with good reason. But I would risk saying that there isn’t any other region, possibly anywhere in the world, which delivers such a variety and plurality of really top quality Rieslings in such a small area. At each corner, on every hill and slope grows Riesling. It is a great and inspiring competition among all wineries since many of them have one very special and ‘world’s best’ vineyard.
I simply love this Riesling: the fascinating balance of minerality, exotic fruitiness and refreshing sourness is just wonderful. Although really light, the feel in the mouth is enormously rich, although every sip is a delicate experience. With every mouthful you discover an additional note!
This wine of Carl Loewen is elegant, rich in character and enchanting. A typical taste of peach, twists of lemon and flavors of some exotic aromas, on one hand, and on the other there is this very special minerality caused by schistous soil. Schist stores the warmth of each sunshine, but also keeps the ground cold and fresh enough during hot summers. The roots need to find their way deep down to get a sufficient quantity of water and to transport all the elements of the soil into the grapes.
Laurentiuslay is qualified as “Erste Lage” which is the second highest qualification of the German wine producers guild VDP (http://www.vdp.de/en/home/).
As the name already says: “Alten Reben”. The vines are very old; they were planted by the beginning of the last century, according to the website of Loewen (http://weingut-loewen.de/?p=en).
These top wines are rare. Only limited numbers of bottles are produced, due to the small vineyards – each of which has its own special taste and character. This is an area in which all elements for making very good wine are equally important: soil, location, and the geographical position (sunset direction, for instance, is important in letting the grapes mature longer) but, of course, also the water supply is key – in particular, if it is a rather rocky slope.
It is very reasonable to store some bottles of this wine. White wines from the Mosel, in particular, can mature for many years. Two, three years are always good – your tasting experience will be even better.
Considering the natural limitations of production and the huge demand, the price per bottle is very fair: ca. € 13 / bottle. In the past I bought this wine in Berlin at a wine store called NIX WIE WEIN. But I recently heard that the ownership changed, so I don’t know yet if it continues to be a nice little store in a typical Berlin neighborhood.