We are sometimes asked why we take all these efforts upon us and why do we report on Mosel Riesling and Riesling in general. Here is one of the reasons why. This wine is a triumph and underlines nicely the unique greatness that mature Riesling can reach.
We had been looking forward to tasting a bottle from the mythical Tobias Estate for quite a while and, boy, its 1976er Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Auslese (AP 01 78) did not disappoint!
For nearly two centuries, the Tobias Estate, a founding Member of the Grosser Ring, was one of the pillars of Mosel excellence, producing magnificent wines which were revered for their ageing abilities. Besides prime sites, part of the Estate's success lied, it seems, in the fact that it bottled only the best casks under its own label, ruthlessly selling off anything else to the trade.
This particular bottle nicely underlines the astonishing quality of the Estate. As one expects from mature Mosel, the sweetness has receded and transformed itself into smooth off-dry silkiness. The perfect botrytis, the underlying freshness and the stunning finesse and elegance in the after-taste make this wine a particular triumph of mature Mosel. The wine also underlines nicely why Piesporter Goldtröpfchen has been such a prized name for over a century.
Young Mosel wines are all about youthful joy, fruit and racy acidity. These are so attractive - also because there is no wood impact unlike for instance many Chardonnay wines - that most of the bottles are enjoyed young.
However, and this is only known to few, these wines gain significantly in complexity without losing any freshness after a decade or so, as all great wines of this world do. This concerns not only the rare and expensive BAs and TBAs. It also concerns fruity-styled wines, and, probably more surprising to many, dry and off-dry wines.
This gorgeous magnificence of mature Mosel is what led us to write about Mosel wines in the first place. To us, this is such a thrilling experience that we dedicate one full Issue to this theme every year, providing background and reviewing past vintages, among others through extensive 10-Years-After / 20-Years-After retrospectives (cf. for instance the extensive 2004 and 1994 Riesling retrospectives which we published in Issue No 24 in March 2014).
Our objective is plain and clear: Get more wine lovers curious and ultimately appreciate mature Mosel.
The beautiful thing about this "best kept secret" is that the market has not (yet) been wiped clean. There is still plenty of mature Mosel out there. In particular, concerning the Tobias Estate, US readers are more likely than others to find some as the Estate's wines had always been snatched up by such astute importers as Schoonmaker or Sichel.
Finally, the last and not least important thing about Mature Mosel is that, with a few exceptions, it does not break the bank.
You probably got the message by now: go out and try it for yourself!
To whet your appetite, we regularly highlight mature wines as wine of the month and you may want to read some of the tasting notes highlighted here below.
© Text by Mosel Fine Wines "The Independent Review of Mosel Riesling"
Disclaimer: Mosel Fine Wines is an independent publication and has no commercial relationship with any Estate, association or organization featured in this article.