Germany Diary: Mosel to Rhine

By October 7, 2013Winemakers

As far as I am concerned, the Mosel River from Bernkastel to Koblentz is the most dramatic, picturesque wine region with breathtaking vistas to be found anywhere in the world. We spent the entire day soaking in the precipitously steep vineyards, including the steepest vineyard in Germany at almost 70 degrees. In the past 20 years, Germany has lost 25% of its vineyards because no one wants to maintain the terraced sites that require 6 to 8 times as much manhours as flat vineyards.

As we docked in the evening at Koblentz, where the Mosel flows into the Rhine, we had invited Master of Wine Peter Gebler to present the wines of Mattias Muller from Boppard. Muller’s wines have soared in

Peter Gebler, MW leads our tasting

popularity because they have received excellent press from European and American wine critics. Fortunately for Mattias, but not for us in America, he does not export his wines and about 90% are sold at the winery. I was fortunate to procure 5 bottled which I will add to my collection of wines to bring  home for a future tasting in New Haven.

Peter delighted us with his knowledge of German wine laws, but according to him, “even the Germans don’t understand our laws.”

He led us through a tasting of Bopparder Hamm wines that would convert even the most anti Riesling wine person. These were wines that expressed the minerality of the slate terroir, which makes them outstanding food wines. We started with the 2012 Bopparder Hamm Mandelstein trocken S, the 2012 Bopparder Hamm Ohlenberg trocken S- Edition MM, 2012 Bopparder Hamm feinherb alte reben (old vines), 2012 Bopparder Hamm Ohlenberg spatlese feinherb, 2012 Bopparder Hamm Mandelstein spatlese feinherb Edition MM, and the 2012 Bopparder Hamm Feurerlay spatlese Edition MM

The acidity from the minerality makes these wonderful pairings for food, my favorite being the Mandelstein spatlese feinherb 2012 with 2.3% rs. A pity we can’t get these wines in the States but a testimony of the heights that riesling can reach.

We left in the morning on the Rhine on our way to Rudesheim where we will have a private tasting at Georg Breuer Winery. I’ll be sure to report on those wines from a top estate.

Castle alert on the Rhine

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