End of the Year: We look back at how dry Riesling fared in 2014 and share our list of highlights from the vintage.
The Mosel Vintage 2014 proved a remarkably contrasted vintage with true strokes of genius right next to the ordinary (to remain polite). Never have we experienced such a huge diversity in quality and style as in 2014.
The spreading of botrytis and rot after the first days of October made it quite a task to produce great dry Riesling in 2014. As a result, “smaller” dry Riesling proved better balanced than more ambitious ones at many Estates, simply because these were harvested earlier, i.e. from healthier fruit.
Overall, little truly great dry Riesling was produced: The vintage was simply not made for it. However, the better dry Riesling wines prove quite remarkable, being packed with flavors yet refreshingly light in alcohol. There is hardly any wine with more than 12-12.5% of alcohol as many Mosel winemakers realize that alcohol is their enemy. Also, the need to be overly strict with the selecting out botrytis grapes left most Estates with grapes showing actually quite moderate sugar levels.
Four Estates fared remarkably well, each placing two dry of their dry Riesling wines on our list of vintage highlights, despite following quite different approaches: While Immich-Batterieberg, Peter Lauer and A.J. Adam produced wines from essentially clean grapes, Martin Müllen, as often, plays and integrates botrytis into his aromatics.
Also the VDP Estates Geltz-Zillliken, Reinhold Haart, Heymann-Löwenstein, Dr. Loosen and von Othegraven produced great and nicely balanced GG bottlings. They are joined by great dry-wine specialists Weingut Carl Loewen, Weingut Reinhold Franzen and Hofgut Falkenstein, who, each in their style, also produced some superbly airy and intense dry Riesling.
Finally, fruity-styled specialist Weingut Selbach-Oster shows that it can also “do” dry and off-dry wines: Its 2014er Spätlese Trocken from the Zeltinger Sonnenuhr is simply gorgeous!
All these wines are light and superbly well balanced, i.e. fit for harmonious aging.
Here our list of not-to-be-missed "Vintage Highlights":
More than for any other recent vintage, tasting before buying or reading what the wines taste like is critical to find the jewels in the 2014 vintage as wine styles range from clean over tropical to possibly downright “off.” Buying blind is never a good idea, it is downright suicidal in 2014.
Our Reports on the 2014 vintage with over 650+ detailed tasting notes of recommended wines from 70 different Estates may help you navigate through the offers.
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© 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.