Grapelive: Wine of the Day May 18, 2020

2017 Weingut Clemens Busch, Riesling Trocken, Mosel Germany.
The tasty entry level dry Riesling from Clemens Busch is flavorful, especially this ripe year 2017 and there is a lot on off for the price with plenty of peachy expressive fruit, but still energy filled and with crystalline mineral character. This all biodynamic Middle Mosel Riesling From Weingut Clemens Busch, a pioneer in natural winemaking and organic viticultural in the Mosel region, shows fresh details, oyster shell and crisp saline to go with the pretty classic lime, green apple and quince fruits plus wet shale, white flowers and a delicate smoky element. Clemens and Rita Busch, the husband and wife team, run this small, but much admired estate and their influence can be felt throughout Germany with many vignerons following in their footsteps. Since taking over his family winery in 1984, Clemens, the fish generation wine grower, has passionate put his vision in place and while it took a long while to do the conversion and gain acceptance locally, regionally and globally, he has become an iconic figure with his incredible lineup of dry Rieslings, with this one being a great gateway into his wines. His top bottlings are fantastic and well worth the extra cost and age well gaining texture and complexity with each identified by their different and distinct terroirs on the original hillsides, each being highlighted on his labels by their historical names, they include Fahrlay, Falkenlay, which is one of my favorites, Rothenpfad, Felsterrasse, and Raffes.

Busch’s grapes are grown mostly on the extremely steep Pündericher Marienburg, a mixed slate based, continuous vineyard, with many tiny prime lieu-dits, that spans and entire hillside facing the village of Pünderich. Exposed full South/Southwest and right on the edge of the river, it is widely considered some of the very best sites in this part of the mighty Mosel. Clemens believes the special parcels have their character and are themselves Cru sites with their own micro climates and show individual expressions. These wines are all unique and Busch combines old traditional methods with his all natural approach in the cellar, which he notes, with 80% of the wines being fermented and aged in very old 1000L barrels with the youngest used close to 50 years old, and many, he adds, were built by Rita’s father. Clemens allows a sponti (native yeasts) fermentation and nothing is ever added to the wine, except an ultra low dose of sulfur at bottling to allow for safe handling and or shipping stability, with the hope that the wines show purity of the terroir, which I believe they do. Interesting to note is that most of the Rieslings here have color coded capsules that tell the buyer what type of slate was in each wine, with red (red slate), grey (grey slate) and blue for the (blue slate) with this lighter Riesling Trocken being all grown on grey slate from multiple parcels in the famous parts of Marienburg. The Mosel is on fire with so many great and intriguing wines, it maybe hard to chose, but you should consider trying these Weingut Clemens Busch dry Rieslings, they don’t disappoint, I offer as an understatement!
($27 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive