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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
German 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.
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.
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
- 2009 Markus Molitor – Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Kabinett – Prädikatswein
- 2012 Gustavshof – Riesling Feinherb – Qualitätswein Rheinhessen