Carl Loewen, Riesling Alte Reben Trocken
Carl Loewen, Riesling Alte Reben Trocken

Carl Loewen, Riesling Alte Reben Trocken

Mosel, Germany 2021 (750mL)
Regular price$33.00

Carl Loewen, Riesling Alte Reben Trocken

If you value precision, authenticity, and affordability, you simply cannot beat Riesling from Germany’s Mosel region. There’s just so much going on here, at such reasonable prices, we need to regularly re-emphasize how special it is. Today, we’ve got a profoundly deep and layered Mosel Riesling sourced from old vines (alte reben) and vinified dry (trocken), and when you take the full measure of what you’re getting, it’s impossible not to be blown away. In addition to some beautifully saturated fruit, there’s a heaping helping of slate-y minerality to enjoy, all of it riding a bracing wave of acidity that’s unlike anything else in the world of wine. And, as is so often the case in Germany, you’re drinking a $30-ish bottle of wine informed by generations of experience: the Loewen estate dates to 1805 and their vineyard holdings are among the most prestigious in the Mosel. This one’s the total package, folks, so have at it!

While Weingut Carl Loewen’s 220-year history is indeed rich, the last few decades are why they stand out. Starting in the late 1980s, Karl-Josef Loewen began a mission to seek out very steep, long-forgotten sites that were home to ancient masses of tangled, low-yielding vines. Now working side-by-side with his son, Christopher, Karl-Josef has assembled an enviable collection of historic vineyard parcels, with soils mostly composed of red and gray slate. Over the generations, the estate has expanded to 15 hectares and includes the “Laurentiuslay” vineyard in the estate’s home village of Leiwen, which is the source of this alte reben (old vine) bottling.

And when the Loewens’ put “alte reben” on the label, they’re not kidding: Vines in the Laurentiuslay vineyard range in age from 50 to 70 years, with roots that plunge deep into the rocky soils in search of water and nutrients. The result is well-concentrated grapes that are fermented spontaneously in stainless steel tanks over the course of many months. Only at bottling is the juice separated from the lees (spent yeast cells) that have collected in the tank.

Get ready for a master class in dry Mosel Riesling when you open this ’21, which displays a bright straw-gold hue and smells like pear tart, sea salt, and grapefruit. You’ll also notice a healthy dose of “petrol,” an aromatic marker so unique to Riesling. That gasoline-fume quality softens in the glass after a few minutes, making way for more earthy notes of turmeric and wet slate. The palate is an electric shock of lemon juice, white peach, bee pollen, and Granny Smith apples. Its lightning acidity falls firmly in the “high” category, balanced by sweet, ripe fruit. Although you could certainly age it a few years to allow for greater textural depth, go ahead and pop, pour and enjoy in all-purpose stems at 45-50 degrees. Pair it with the attached tuna tartare recipe from Le Bernardin’s seafood master, Eric Ripert, and let the fireworks commence. Enjoy!

Carl Loewen, Riesling Alte Reben Trocken

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