A Mosel Highlight: 2012 Frank Brohl – Pündericher Marienburg

Disclaimer: This wine was provided by one of the distributors. All opinions are my own. For more information about my sample policies follow this link.

The Mosel Valley

The Mosel is probably Germany’s most prestigious wine region. The appellation is named after the river Moselle which in German is called Mosel. The Moselle has its source in Alsace, France and is flowing through Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg. In 2007 the German wine law was reformed in many ways and before August 1st 2007 the Mosel appellation was known as Mosel-Saar-Ruwer. The Moselle, the Saar and the Ruwer are three rivers and their valleys form together the appellation. However colloquially the appellation was always referred to as Mosel hence the change of name. German Parliament, known as Bundestag, also decided to rename the highest quality level for German wines from Qualitätswein mit Prädikat to Prädikatswein. I won’t go into more detail but if you want to learn more about the German wine law reform of 2007 then you can read the complete text of the law in German on the official website of the Bundestag.

Over 60% of all grapes in the Mosel are Riesling making it the most important grape of the region. Red grapes are not of any importance. Less than 10% of all grown grapes are red. A Trockenbeerenauslese of the highest quality (Prädikatswein) can sell at auctions for hundreds and thousands of Euro. Don’t worry you don’t have to spend a fortune on high quality wines from the Mosel but compared to other German wine region the Mosel is quite expensive.

Weingut Frank Brohl

Only recently I tried a Spätlese from Weingut Frank Brohl,a small family-run winery in the heart of the Mosel. Frank Brohl, the owner of winery, was one of the pioneers of organic agriculture in the Mosel and co-founder of Oionos, an association of organic Mosel wineries and the predecessor of ECOVIN. Weingut Frank Brohl grows mainly Riesling on their 7 hectares and has a yearly production of around 10000 bottles of wine.

2012 Pündericher Marienburg Spätlese Fruchtsüß

2012 Frank Brühl -Punderlicher Marienburg Spätlese Fruchtsüß - PrädikatsweinGerman wine names can be quite long and that’s the current case. The 2012 Pündericher Marienburg Spätlese Fruchtsüß is produced with 100% Riesling grapes. The wine is a Prädikatswein and classified as Spätlese. Spätlese is one of the categories within Prädikatswein (the others being Kabinett, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Eiswein and Trockenbeerenauslese). I know the German wine system is confusing but I try to keep it as simple as possible. Fruchtsüß indicates that the wine is semi-sweet (lieblich). Wines that are Fruchtsüß tend to have a rather low ABV (usually around 6%-9%). Pündericher Marienburg aged in stainless steel tanks.

In the glass, the wine has a green-yellow color. The label listed alcohol by volume was 8%.

On the nose, fruity with intense aromas of apple and elderflower. There was also a little bit of lime.

In the mouth, Pündericher Marienburg was semi-sweet and quite smooth. The wine had a high minerality. The taste was quite particular. It reminded me a lot of a Hugo – Hugo is a popular drink in Europe made with elderflower syrup, Prosecco, fresh lime juice and mint. The finish was persistently long.

4 / 5 stars      

Side note: If you never had a Hugo then I redirect you to the blog My Kitchen In The Rockies where you’ll find a recipe for it.

Parting Words

The 2012 Pündericher Marienburg Spätlese Fruchtsüß from Weingut Frank Brohl is a very good Riesling and definitely recommended. However the wine is – like the majority of Mosel wines – a little bit overpriced. In Munich a bottle retails for around 16.50€ but the wine can be purchased directly on the winery’s website for 11.90€ + shipping. Please beaware that the winery also produces a Pündericher Marienburg Spätlese Feinherb. The two wines look the same but taste very different because the other wine is dry and not semi-sweet.  Please excuse the poor picture quality.

Pündericher Marienburg Spätlese Fruchtsüß is an excellent aperitif and pairs well with a variety of Asian food.

What is your opinion on Mosel Riesling? Do you prefer them dry or semi-sweet? Let me know in the comment section below.

That’s all for today. The bags are packed – my flight to Florence departs tomorrow morning. Can’t wait!

More Recommended Riesling Reviews


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23 comments on “A Mosel Highlight: 2012 Frank Brohl – Pündericher Marienburg”

  1. Andy Andy Reply

    I only tried German wine from the Mosel so far. I liked some of them but they vary too much in style..
    Dr Loosen and Markus Molitor are my favorite.
    I don’t know the wines from Frank Brohl and it looks like they are not available in the States. This happens so often that I like a wine on your blog just to find out that it’s not available in the USA..

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Andy,
      Thanks for stopping by! I tend to prefer wines from smaller, family-owned wineries over large mass production. Unfortunately small wineries often don’t have a lot of importers. There is nothing I can do about this sorry.

  2. Marco van Puff Reply

    Just thought I let you know that I can’t see the photo of the bottle at all. I just see a box with a question mark..
    Anyways, the wine sounds good but in most cases I like my Riesling dry 🙂
    Have a good trip!

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Marco,
      Thanks for letting me know about this issue but for me it seems to work correctly (tried from multiple devices). Are you sure this is not an issue on your end?

  3. armchairsommelier Reply

    I adore Riesling . . . I prefer dry, but Spätlese absolutely has its time and place. Can you get the Pünderlicher Marienburg Spätlese Fruchtsüß outside of Germany? I find it difficult sometimes to locate some German Rieslings outside of Germany. And I’m fascinated by this Hugo drink . . . I’m going to have to try it!! Have a great time in Florence . . . one of my favorite world cities. Prost!

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Armchairsommelier,
      As far as I know there exist dry Spätlese, too. Not every Spätlese is semi-sweet. I tend to prefer dry Riesling, too because I find them to be more food friendly but this semi-sweet Spätlese from Frank Brohl is a real highlight.
      According to two other readers the wine is not available outside of Germany.. Sorry about that but I tend to drink wine from small, family-owned wineries. These wineries often don’t have a lot of importers..

  4. Sean P. Reply

    Julian this sounds like an amazing Riesling! According to wine searcher there are no UK importers. Can you suggest a similar wine that is available in England?
    Enjoy Florence!

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Sean,
      Thanks for commenting!
      This Spätlese was indeed amazing! Sorry to hear that the wine is not available in the UK. Unfortunately I can’t think of a smiliar fruchtsüß Spätlese. I haven’t tried that many semi-sweet Spätlese but this one was the best of them so far.

  5. wineking3 wineking3 Reply

    Riesling is one of the most interesting white grape varietals. It grows well in so many countries. Finger Lakes Riesling are pretty good. Do you know them? Usually I prefer my Riesling dry but I also wouldn’t decline a good semi-sweet spatlese 🙂

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Wineking3,
      I very much agree with your statement! I haven’t tried Finger Lakes Riesling yet. Since the Germans consider Riesling to be the “true” German grape most Riesling available here is from Germany.

  6. hannah-theis hannah-theis Reply

    I can’t think of any other appellation that changed its name. That’s so odd I think..
    I don’t particularly like Riesling unless its super dry.. The sweeter ones taste like soft drinks..

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Hannah,
      Thanks for commenting!
      Well to me it doesn’t make any difference whether the wine is labeled “Mosel-Saar-Ruwer” or just “Mosel”.

  7. drinkforlife Reply

    Sounds like a very interesting Riesling. I’m by no means a Riesling expert but if I drink Riesling then it’s mostly dry. I don’t think I ever had a Spatlese – usually I drink Kabinett.

  8. Suzanne Reply

    I really appreciate your riesling reviews primarily because I have not been a fan of riesling but your reviews are sparking interest and prompting me to give them another try. I am particularly interested in Hugo, just visited the blog. Can’t wait to give a try.

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Suzanne,
      Thank you so much!
      I only like quality Riesling but the truce is that a lot of cheap Riesling is the result of mass-production. That type of Riesling should be avoided. If you decide to buy Riesling then be picky – lots of Riesling will disappoint (at least it would disappoint me). Nevertheless there are also some really good Riesling out there which are worth trying for sure.

      Let me know what you think about Hugo. It’s quite easy to prepare 🙂

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    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Oliver,
      Thank you for your comment. The wine was very good but the retail price of 16.50€ is quite expensive..
      I fixed the spelling. Thanks for letting me know about it!

      • the winegetter Reply

        Yeah, you are right. That’s a pretty steep price. And from a winery I have never heard of and a so-so vineyard…even the 11.90 at winery seem rather high…

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