Dr Loosen Releases 2015 Single Parcel GG Réserves
Erdener Prälat vineyard in the Mosel Valley
© Leigh Ann Beverley
Library releases of dry German Rieslings are still a rarity. Loosen, however, always in pioneering mode, had set these special parcels aside in order to showcase the striking personalities of these wines with some age. Loosen has long experimented with ageing Rieslings, inspired as much by Mosel history – where dry wines prevailed before the advent of sterile filtration in the early 20th century – as by his own experience of ageing dry Mosel wines in barrel.
Inspired by the Past
Loosen cites a winemaking manual from 1817 and the practice of his paternal grandfather as impetus: “I became very interested in these things: what does time do to winemaking? In the old days they had time but no technology – today we have technology but no time. They knew so much, and we have forgotten so much,” Loosen says. “In my grandfather’s day, they left wine on gross lees without batonnage. As long as the lees are untouched, they stay alive and create a reductive environment that protects the wine.” After two years of ageing in this reductive environment, the wines are bottled and aged further.
“For the Réserves,” Loosen explains, “we are using our oldest vineyards, all ungrafted.” These old vines are in small, single parcels. The parcel “Im Laychen” lies within the Wehlener Sonnenuhr vineyard and is 100% south-facing, rooted in Devonian slate. “This is our oldest vineyard in Wehlen; we have owned it since 1911. But it goes back another 20-30 years. The vines are up to 130 years old.” The special parcel within the Ürziger Würzgarten site is called “Unterst Pichten” and the vines are 100 years old. They are grown on rhyolite, a volcanic conglomerate. The third wine is not named after a parcel but comes from very old vines in the Erdener Prälat. Loosen says: “It is a special meso-climate: south-facing, steep, completely surrounded by huge cliffs, like an amphitheatre. It is our warmest vineyard.”
The wines are pristine and will be able to continue ageing for a long time yet. These old vines produce lots of tiny berries and even at full ripeness, their potential alcohol rarely exceeds 12.5% ABV. Only absolutely healthy berries without any botrytis infection make it into these Réserves. Loosen has produced these Grosses Gewächs Réserves, or GGRs as he calls them, since 2011. They are always released in March, six years after harvest.
Riesling lovers will be smitten by these monuments.
Dr Loosen 2015 Wehlener Sonnenuhr ‚Im Laychen‘ Réserve Alte Reben
Dr Loosen 2015 Ürziger Würzgarten ‚Unterst Pichter‘ Réserve Alte Reben
Dr Loosen 2015 Erdener Prälat Réserve Alte Reben