2019 Weingut Dr. Loosen, Riesling Kabinett, Ürziger Würzgarten, Mosel, Germany.
It’s hard to imagine a better or more delightful Summer and Summer Solstice wine than Erni Loosen’s Ürziger Würzgarten Kabinett and this 2019 is very compelling and complex Riesling on the drier side of fruitiness, but generous and pleasing from start to finish with refreshing acidity, mineral notes and subtle tropical essences. This 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. This Kabinett is racy and crystalline with exceptional purity, starting with it’s bright pale golden hue to its 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 to cut into the presence of residual sugar, making for a wine that can handle some heat, but also is wonderfully flexible with a range of cuisine choices from chilli crab, fire shrimp, Cajun dishes to more classic German foods and as I paired, a fine creamy sheep cheese and a baguette. This Kabinett comes in at 9% natural alcohol and that clearly brings this wine to a drier feel overall and the vintage provides the depth and presence in the glass, it adds a dried ginger note, wet flint and slate smokiness and delivers a nice contrast between its luscious side and its more zesty energy, with this 2019 comparing well with the excellent 2018, I reviewed most recently, showcasing the quality of Loosen’s Kabinett offerings. The Ürziger Würzgarten, a VDP Grosse Lage vineyard, has vines well over 60 years that are clinging at a frightening angle to its slate and red volcanic sandstone that gives these wines their sense of place.
The majestic Ürziger Würzgarten Cru vineyard sits the 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. As I have noted here in prior reviews, the weingut Dr. Loosen 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 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 like me. With crop yields, according to the winery, at almost half of what is permitted by law, only moderate use of organic fertilizers, and 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. Again as said before, this is absolutely one of the most obvious terroir wines in the world and a classic German wine, with the Dr. Loosen Ürziger Würzgarten Kabinett example being a must have version, which I always recommend to new explorers and long time enthusiasts of German wines.
($28 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive