Grapelive: Wine of the Day November 30, 2017

2012 Weingut Dr. Loosen, Riesling Trocken, Grosses Gewachs Reserve, Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Alte Reben, Mosel Germany.
Ernst Loosen is an innovator and a traditionalist, he is a constant force in the wine world, leading the charge for Germany’s great wines, both sweet and dry, but he has in recent years been a champion for education, especially highlighting the Dry Rieslings of the Mosel, mostly in America, trying to rewire our brains to understand the glories of this varietal and it’s history. His cause is just and his work relentless, he is joined in this mission by other great winemakers including Johannes Leitz, Wilhelm Weil, Philipp Witmann and Caroline Diel just to name a few, they are focused on showing the world that dry Riesling deserve their place at the table. Dr. Loosen is taking it to another level and stepping up his game with a new series of Grand Cru wines, a set Dry Rieslings from unique old vine plots that are native yeast fermented in large oak cask and aged 24 months on the lees, without batonage, this Dr. Loosen GGR collection now comprising the three distinct terroirs and the three finest sites of the estate — Wehlener Sonnenuhr (blue slate soil), Ürziger Würzgarten (red volcanic sandstone) and Erdener Prälat (red slate). I sat down with a panel of Riesling experts not long ago, including the Herr Dr. Loosen, and tasted many Grosses Gewachs from top estates, including this 2012 Dr. Loosen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Grosses Gewächs RESERVE Alte Reben, which I can tell is a very distinct wine, iconic even, I would compare it in some ways to Trimbach’s Clos St. Hune! The extended aging, 24 months in cask and 1 year in bottle, add to the refined nature of this 2012, which was a beautiful vintage and give this wine it’s soul, adding layers of texture and flavors, it’s extra Ruhe (rest in German) really delivers intensity and depth, while the natural acidity and slate driven mineral is not lost in the aging, in fact Loosen feels, surprisingly, that it is actually enhanced and my notes confirm this. Having been an early convert, I love these lees aged Rieslings, I’ve reviewed many gorgeous examples from von Winning and love the GG’s from Leitz, Spreitzer, Kruger-Rumpf, Diel and others. This 2012 Dr. Loosen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Grosses Gewächs RESERVE Alte Reben starts with rich details and vivid steely mineralite, gaining body and density of extract with air this is brilliant stuff and a worthy standard barer of this style of wine, it has got plenty to admire and structure to age with beautiful white flowers, brioche, wet rock, mixed herbs, flinty spices to go along with round green apple, apricot, melon/lime and kumquat fruits. This lengthy wine, finishing with smoky shale and sweet/tangy tangerine, is an excitingly vibrant dry Riesling that is pure class and is a no brainer for the Riesling enthusiast, it should prove to be a blue chip collectors item, rewarding anyone that wants a stellar wine to pull out of the cellar, drink anytime, though best guess on window would be from 2020 to 2030!
($60-75 Est.) 94-96 Points, grapelive