Organic grower Jonas Dostert dished up one of the finest Spätburgunder in 2019. Time to put the spotlight on this new talent.
We already wrote this in our sneak preview to our readers in the January Issue. Our tastings published in Part I of our detailed vintage report amply confirmed it: 2019 is an epic vintage at the top, and this thanks to not excessive Oechsle degrees, bright and ripe flavors, and impeccable sweetness-acidity balance.
2019 also proved superb for Spätburgunder, a fact handsomely underlined by the 2019er Spätburgunder by Jonas Dostert, a hugely impressive new organic grower.
Chances are high that you have not heard much of Jonas Dostert yet (except of course if you read every detail of our Issues!). Chances are also high that the name will be on everybody’s lips as one of the hotly traded growers in the region in a few years. A tip off from a reader led us to contact this young grower (not yet in his mid-30s) born in a well-established winemaking family in Nittel, in the Obermosel part of the region for our in-depth article on “Natural Mosel” last year s (see Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 49 (January 2020).
Despite being born into wine, Jonas Dostert only gradually warmed up to it: “I didn’t drink that much alcohol when I grew up as I’m also playing football. I only really caught the wine bug after an internship at the Bischöfliche Weingüter Trier. It is there that I realized that what I loved above all was vineyard management.” After his winemaking studies in Geisenheim, he started to work at the first organic Estate in Luxembourg while also helping out on the family Estate, Weingut Jürgen Dostert.
In parallel, he constituted a small Estate (still with less than 2 ha) from family holdings in Nittel, which he converted to certified organic farming: “My mother was a converted to all things organic so I grew up with this mindset. There was never really a debate in my mind about it.”
His holdings are planted with Elbling and Grauburgunder, but also with Chardonnay and Spätburgunder, two grape varieties for which Jonas Dostert developed a particular passion: “I’ve always been curious about the great wines in the world and really got into Burgundy, where I did an internship at Domaine Leflaive. Over the years, I got to meet other growers and try to be on site regularly.”
For years, he experimented with his wines (which were sold via his father’s label). In 2018, he finally decided to release his first own wines, grown organically, and made with minimal intervention except for a little sulfur at bottling. 2019 is therefore only his second vintage.
Astute readers will wonder when the word Riesling will eventually appear. It will not and for good reasons: As soon as one leaves Trier in the direction of Luxembourg, the soil changes from Devonian (slate-based) to Jurassic (limestone-based).
As Jonas explains, “geologically, the soil in Nittel is Muschelkalk, a compactified sandstone rich in limestone driven by marl and the dolomite mineral. The soil of our south-west facing parcel planted with Spätburgunder proves rather light, with little topsoil, and benefits from a little bit of wind. This helps to keep the grapes clean.”
His Chardonnay and, above all, his Spätburgunder immediately caught our eyes. The wines are subtle, elegant, and refined. Usually, producing refined Spätburgunder takes years of fine-tuning and tweaking in order to find the right balance that suits the climate and the soil. Not so with Jonas Dostert.
The 2019er Spätburgunder even topped his already incredible debut 2018 release. The wine, aged in used French barrique, proves simply stunning. Far from imitating Burgundy, it develops its own signature made of deep fresh fruits, a hint of spices, gorgeous silkiness on the palate, and a lingering and precise finish.
As usual, great news such as this hugely promising upcoming talent invariably come with some annoying small print. In the case of Jonas Dostert, the small print reads: “Quantities are tiny.” However, the Estate is not yet hyped and astute readers will be able to snatch up some of Jonas’ beauties. Be fast!
The stunning 2019 collection by Jonas Dostert
was reviewed in the Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 54 (Oct 2020).
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The 2019er Spätburgunder (lot number 06/20) was made along natural lines, i.e. without intervention, with 20% de-stemmed fruit and aged for 10 months in a 7-year-old barrique from Burgundy before being bottled unfiltered and with 50 mg/l of sulfur. This deep red-blue colored wine offers a stunningly fruity nose of strawberry, raspberry, herbs, and spices. The wine is packed with gorgeously sweet fruits on the palate where spices play second role. The finish is silky, fruity, smooth, and incredibly long. Despite its lightness (the wine does only have 11.5% of alcohol), the wine’s precision, purity, and depth are simply superb. While enjoyable now, this wine will truly blossom after some bottle aging. What a huge success! 2022-2029
© Text by Mosel Fine Wines "The Independent Review of Mosel Riesling ... and beyond!"
Disclaimer: Mosel Fine Wines is an independent publication and has no commercial relationship with any Estate, association or organization featured in this article.