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The Doctor cures an ailing reputation – top Rieslings from Dr. Loosen in the Mosel

The German producer Dr. Loosen has been at the forefront of the qualitative renaissance of Riesling wines from the Mosel. Under the leadership of the dynamic owner Ernst Loosen the winery has since the late eighties upped the quality of the wines it produces.

At the beginning of the 1900s wines from the Mosel had a high reputation and sometimes cost more than the top wines from Bordeaux. Two world wars later and a new economic context meant that the halo ended up crooked.

During the seventies and eighties Mosel (then Mosel-Saar-Ruwer) was associated with cheap mass-produced wines that were sticky and sweet. Semi-dry Liebfraumilch sold in large quantities and became for many the epitome of German wines. Vineyards were planted on the flat fertile land along the Moselle river banks. The aim was to produce large quantities of wine for as low a cost as possible. Technological innovations also contributed to the development. During the forties and fifties filter technology was developed that facilitated the production of sweet wines.

During the late eighties producers like Dr. Loosen began to focus on quality. The yields were lowered and they moved towards sustainable production methods. They stopped using chemical fertilizers and started using natural yeast.

Dr Loosen Riesling Kabinett

Dr Loosen Riesling Kabinett

By focusing on quality, Dr. Loosen, headquartered in Bernkastel, helped to re-establish the Mosel wine’s tarnished reputation. All this work resulted in 2005 in that Ernst Loosen was named “Man of the Year” by Decanter Magazine.

This success has made it possible to expand to other regions. The producer JL Wolf in the Palatinate was acquired 1996. Here Dr Loosen also produces pinot gris, pinot blanc and pinot noir alongside the riesling wines.

During the tasting a number of wines were presented. Here’s my impressions of some of the wines.

The entry-level wine Dr. L Riesling 2014 (~9 euro) exhibits an inviting fruitiness with notes of white flowers and pear. The palate is medium dry but is balanced by a crisp acidity. Works great well-chilled to drink on its own or with spicy Asian dishes.

Dr L Old Vines Riesling Kabinett 2013 (~12 euro) raised the level of quality further. The nose is subtle with hints of apple, peach and mineral. Despite a sugar content of 40 grams / litre the wine feels fresh and balanced. The aftertaste is relatively long.

Dr Loosen Beerenauslese

Dr Loosen Beerenauslese

The tasting ended with the sweet (139 g/l) wine Dr. Loosen Beerenauslese 2011 (~13 euro for a quarter-bottle). You are treated to an intense aroma of honey and saffron with a touch of petroleum. The flavour is deep and intense with a long aftertaste. The wine works just fine as a bottled candy or with blue cheese.

The tasting was a presentation of the new vintages of Dr. Loosen’s wines, organized by the importer VinUnic, with Dr. Loosen’s export manager Matt Giedraitis.

Read more on Dr Loosen on BKWine Magazine’s previous articles:

Ola Öhlund writes on BKWine Magazine on wine tastings with wine merchants and importers.

This post is also available in: Swedish

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