2021 Weingut Dr. Loosen, Riesling Kabinett, Ürziger Würzgarten, Mosel, Germany.
One of the world’s most iconic, traditional and terroir driven wines, the Dr. Loosen Ürziger Würzgarten dry drinking, spiced and fresh slightly off-dry Kabinett is always a pristine and easy to love Riesling, with this 2021 being a vintage to stock up on, it’s bright, mineral toned, has lovely fruit without weight or overt sweetness and lingering flinty spice. The palate, as per normal here, has crisp layers of ripe stone fruit, vivid citrus, green apple and pineapple along with hints of rose petal, mango, clove, lemon peel and Asian spices. There is a fine focus here and a tangy bitterness that nicely cuts into the presence of the subtle residual sugar, making for a refreshing Riesling to enjoy with any meal, this Kabinett is very flexible with food, though lovely with many Asian dishes. Dr. Loosen, one of the planet’s most widely recognized winery, has been in the same family for over 200 years and has a premier collection of vineyards, with mostly ungrafted old vines, that average around 50 years old, in some of the Mosel’s most coveted areas. This gives Ernst Loosen an awesome selection of grapes to work with, and it’s worth noting that Loosen always seems to produce stunningly intense, high quality and world-class wines, especially the collection of GGs, that not only show terroir, but also, these wines have a luxurious personality that appeal to a wide audience as well as to Riesling freaks, as I have noted before, like me. This pale and lightly smoky Dr. Loosen Ürziger Würzgarten Kabinett is a brilliant example of Mosel slate and iron rich soil influenced Riesling, it is a must have version, which I always grab for myself and recommend to new explorers and long time enthusiasts of German wines.
The majestic Ürziger Würzgarten Cru vineyard in the Mosel, as I have mentioned many times here, sits in a steep picturesque amphitheater formed by this dramatic bend in the river, forming a natural sun basket that helps ripen the Riesling grapes and gives these wines their signature profile, with some of Dr. Loosen’s oldest vines clinging to this famous hillside. This site is called the “Spice Garden” and is as Dr. Loosen notes, a blazing red outcropping, with a vain of iron rich volcanic soils over the classic weathered slate and Loosen’s parcel is an insanely steep sloping section with some of the winery’s old vines. Ürziger Würzgarten is one of the most iconic vineyards in the world, the red soils and slate underpinning give these Rieslings an exotic and spicy nature and Loosen’s bottlings offer a wide array of individual and distinct wines from this lively off dry Kabinett to their ultra rich and sweet Auslese, along with a stylish age worthy Spatlese and dry version’s including a GG, all of which highlight the prestigious terroir influence of this steep Mosel Grand Cru site. Employing old-fashioned cellar practices these wines deliver exceptional quality, as this Ürziger Würzgarten Kabinett shows. Loosen’s Ürziger Würzgarten Kabinett saw, as in most vintages, a cool fermentation in a combination of stainless steel tanks and traditional old Fuder oak casks with fermentation stopped by chilling to keep it going all the way dry, making it as noted, fruity and zippy with loads of natural acidity with grapes all being picked and sorted by hand to be sure no noble rot (Botrytis) had infected the healthy clusters to keep this one a more vibrant and fresh Riesling. I’ve really enjoyed the latest Loosen wines and this one offers loads of personality and charm, it is one I will enjoy greatly over the next few years.
($28 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive