Culture / Foodie Events

From the Steep Slopes of the Mosel, a Riesling To Buy and Enjoy by the Case

BY // 12.26.15

I love Riesling. I’ve written that before, and I’ll write it again. It is a grape with stupendous capabilities, and produces some of the finest wines in the world, as well as everyday bottles that pair well with a variety of foods, especially seafood and Asian cuisines. This weekend I opened a few bottles of a Mosel Riesling, from Dr. Loosen, an estate that has been making wine for more than 200 years (the Loosen family also owns Villa Wolf, situated in my beloved Pfalz region of Germany).

The bottles we had were Loosen Bros. Dr. L Rieslings (2014), and they can be had for less than $10. It is the estate’s “introductory” off-dry Riesling. It’s fruity, with an abundance of minerality, thanks to the slate-rich soils in which the vines grow. Steep slopes are the birthplace of these wines, and their bracing quality is in fine form in the 2014. I had prepared some Thai food, full of lemon grass and peppers. and this wine paired with aplomb. (My guests were glad I had purchased six bottles.) We drank a bottle as an apéritif, and another with the meal. The wine alone was refreshing and lively, and its flavor intensified with the food. I believe that Riesling is easily one of the best food-pairing wines, and this meal proved that with confidence.

Ernst Loosen: Archaeology's loss was wine's gain. (Courtesy Loosen Bros.)
Ernst Loosen: Archaeology’s loss was wine’s gain. (Courtesy Loosen Bros.)

Loosen is now run by Ernst Loosen, who took over in 1988 and set about to reduce production and move away from a reliance on chemical fertilizers. Many of the estate’s vines are more than 100 years old, and, unlike many growers, the Loosens never replanted their vines with lesser-quality, higher-yielding varieties. Wine drinkers, rejoice! The Loosens cultivate a number of first-growth vineyards —  Bernkasteler Lay, Erdener Prälat, Erdener Treppchen, Graacher Himmelreich, Ürziger Würzgarten, and Wehlener Sonnenuhr — from which world-class wines emanate, as well as the “introductory” varieties.

If you are looking for an everyday Riesling, look no further than the Dr. L line, which also includes the Dr. L Riesling Dry and the Dr. L Sparkling Riesling.

Want more wine? Check out these stories:

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Oil Man Falls in Love, and the Rest is Good-Taste History
Ryan Cooper of Camerata is a Riesling Man
Mixing It Up With Jeremy Parzen, an Ambassador of Italy
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