Mythos Mosel 2019

Between Ürzig and Briedel, countless wines could be tasted and wineries visited for two days. A short travel log.

The Moselle is a beautiful spot on this planet with a high density of wineries. There is a lot to discover and above all a lot to taste. To make this as pleasant as possible, every year a different section of the Moselle is dedicated to the Mythos Mosel event, which this time takes place between Ürzig and Briedel. In this section wineries opened their doors at 31 stations and invited three guest wineries each. That makes a total of about 120 wineries with 6 wines each. In order to be able to cover the distance from winery to winery with alcohol in your blood and without too much physical exertion, there is also a shuttle bus that serves each station every 20 minutes. At least in theory. In practice, however, except for two longer waiting breaks on Saturday in Ürzig and Sunday in Briedel, this also worked well. That was also the case last year. If you still haven’t had enough, you could attend an evening event or the opening night. This year we did neither.

It is impossible to taste every wine and even to visit every station is more stress than a nice wine weekend allows. In order to see as much as possible, a little planning is necessary. An accommodation relatively in the middle and then Saturday in one direction and Sunday in the other has proven to be a good idea. I have made some notes at most stops. But since some of the people around us had a bottle of perfume in addition to the shower, sometimes massive amounts of smoke from the tarte flambée oven blew through the tasting room and some stations were very well attended, with all the crowding that goes with it, this is only a first impression. The notes are short and focus mostly on the wines that stood out. This does not mean, however, that wines that did not appear were not deemed as good enough. It is not unlikely that the wine was simply not tasted, even if there are other winemakers in the notes at the station.

We started off in Lösnich, just early enough so that we could still taste all the sparkling wines from the Moselle sparkling wine tasting, which took place from 11 to 12. Outstanding are the Cuvée Prestige from Weingut Melsheimer from 2010 made of Riesling and Pinot Noir, filled Brut Nature without dosage. One could feel the ripeness, a beautiful apple fruit, creaminess, together with notes of dried pome fruit peel. Unfortunately from the cellar of the winery and so no longer available.

Also the Jour Fixe from Immich-Batterieberg from 2015, a Brut Nature Riesling sparkling wine. Bone dry with a beautiful structure on the palate, citrus, in the background Riesling fruit and a great freshness.

Actually the plan was to go to Ürzig next. The normal bus was sadly not available at that time, but there was a small shuttle between Lösnich and Kinheim with a stop at the Simon Winery, which means the plans were changed spontaneously. The Weingut Simon has a nice collection of Rieslings, but the highlight was a barrel sample of an Orange Wine from Weissburgunder, which was lying on the skins for three and a half weeks. An aroma of tea with vanilla and a great structure. Great wine, which is expected to be on the market in early 2020. There were also delicious colorful mini-burgers with meat or goat cheese.

Continuing with the small extra shuttle to Kinheim. Digestive walk while taking the cover photo up the mountain. We drank our way through the collection of the winery Ansgar Clüsserath without special notes. Beautiful sometimes really crisp acidity, lots of minerality and especially 2017 Kabinett and Spätlese from the Trittenheimer Apotheke are great wines.

At Weingut Lörsch we tried Altärchen Kabinett from 2017: Notes of spontaneous fermentation, light, fresh and in the background fine minerality. Dhroner Hofberg from 2017: cool, smooth with a beautiful edge on the back of the tongue, a lot of pull on the palate. Fels-Terassen Trittenheimer Apotheke: Lots of spice, extract, crisp acidity and nice juiciness. Alte Reben Spätlese also from the Trittenheimer Apotheke. Unfortunately I missed to note down the vintage. The wine had a light maturity, clear signs of spontaneous fermentation, much flint, yellow notes and a hint of smoke.

At Dr. Hermann we first tasted the 2018 dry base Riesling. Somehow it was a bit too ripe, too much melon in the nose. But the rest more than made up for that. 2018 Kinheimer Hubertuslay Feinherb: Pear, yellow apple, super juicy with a great minerality. Something of this has to go in the cellar. 2018 Ürziger Würzgarten Kabinett: Stinky, a lot of flint in the nose, but very round in the mouth with great fruit and spice. Erdener Herzlei Spätlese from 125 year old vines from a monopole vineyard: honey, pear, elderflower, fine acidity, long. Superb collection!

Onwards with the regular shuttle to Ürzig. The schedule was already more or less broken, as a consequence not too much was tasted here and only the Grande Cuvée from St Laurentius is remembered as a great Riesling sparkling wine. Afterwards, to make matters worse, we had to wait another 40 minutes for the next bus. Time in which one could still have tasted. Anyway, on to Kröv.

With all this Riesling a little change was welcome and in the Staffelter Hof L’Arbre Viké served three great rosé wines from the Côtes de Toul. From the Rosée, a pure Gamay, which is directly pressed and then comes unfiltered into the bottle, we bought a bottle right from the stand. A tasty wine that is tart, red-fruity and with an idea of raw beef in the nose with a lot of structure on the palate. And that for 7,50€. A real surprise, but probably hard to come by again.

Also the wines of Maison Lelièvre from the same growing area were uncomplicated and delicious. In addition to rosé, two Auxerrois were served. No notes, but ordered a tasting package instead. At some point there will be more on the blog. Too many wines, but too little time remains a theme that runs through the two days and so we could only stop by the Markus Junglen winery for a short time and then drove directly to Traben-Trarbach. At Villa Huesgen there was such a rush of people that we could only taste some wines from Maximin Grünhaus and Nik Weis and didn’t take any notes. But they were good. Unfortunately, all other stops in Traben-Trarbach remained unvisited.

Day 2, start in Enkirch: We started with the wines from the winery A.J. Adam. 2018 Dhroner Riesling: pleasant minerality, flint, beautiful fruit aromas, rather lean with crisp acidity. One of the better dry Rieslings this weekend. In der Sängerei 2018: Stinky, much flint, complex, full, long. Häs’chen Kabinett 2018: Honey, rather yellow aromas. Altogether nice wines.

Immich-Batterieberg: The Jour Fixe was also excellent in the winery. Some bottles of that will join us on the way home and go straight to the cellar. All the wines tasted are from 2017, the current vintage is still on the lees and will remain there until the ripe fruit of the warm summer has broken down a little. A good plan. The Detonation had rather dark flint notes, hardly any fruit, some canned mango. The Escheburg appeared somewhat lighter in aroma, slightly yellow apples, but rather sparse in fruit, light salinity and a lot of stone. Steffensberg is the continuation, sinewy, lots of stone, almost something sweet in the nose, but then on the palate super clear and dry. And lastly the top-wine of the bunch, the Ellergrub which is a bit closed in comparison to the two predecessors, a bit softer in the mouth, stone, may still need time. Great collection with a clear line and little primary fruit. I am curious what will be made here from 2018.

Off to the bus stop, perfect timing, bus is already waiting. On to Briedel, Winery Franzen: Quartzit 2018: With 11,5% moderate alcohol, fruity without being fat, summer wine. Neefer Frauenberg 2017: yellow fruit, citrus, but not dominant, stony, clear. Fachkaul 2017: A little more of everything compared to the Frauenberg, only a few bottles exist, very fresh, somewhat closed. Certainly a great wine, but I don’t think it’s worth the extra charge to Frauenberg if you get one of the few bottles at all. Altogether a clear line with straight, not too fruity and always very fresh wines.

From here on the direction is backwards, back to Enkirch. Starts directly again with 40 minutes waiting for the bus, you would have been faster on foot, but once you sit there and wait, the bus would come exactly when going back would be too far and so you are committed. Never lucky. Arrived in Pünderich and took the direct way to the winery Clemens Busch, beautifully situated directly at the river. Gutsriesling 2018: Perhaps the best Gutsriesling this weekend. Fresh apple, citrus, no fat melon, slim and clear. Another highlight was a Marienburg 2017 Rothenpfad: Long, expressive and elegant.

Winery Haart, a lightly matured 2012 Goldtröpchen GG was great, which showed with a lot of freshness and a very light ripeness far back on the tongue how the wines can age here. The 2018s had throughout a very reductive nose with lots of flint, then in the mouth a light minerality and great fruit. There is probably also something joining our cellar.

The wines of Heymann-Löwenstein from 2017 were still very closed except for the Schieferterassen and the Uhlen L. Also the 2016 Uhlen R certainly needs some more time. Nevertheless, these are wonderful wines, which are very powerful and dense without much fruit. Put them away and enjoy them later. The food stations in Pünderich fortunately matched the great wines, goat cheese nuggets with orangejuice marinade, pickled feta and a Pizza Bianca with goat cheese, thyme, nuts and honey. Perfect combination.

The bus connection had recovered after the waiting time in Briedel and so an almost scheduled departure in direction Reil was possible. At the winery Melsheimer, the one with the great sparkling wine from the first day, we also had good Riesling. The Lentum is allowed to ferment for three years in a big wooden barrel, which leads to a creamy Riesling, with a soft flint in the nose. The collection of Fio Wines, a winery of Dirk and Daniel Niepoort and Philipp Kettern, is on a high level. The 2018 wines are still in the cellar and the 2017 Falkenberg should also rest for at least another year, at the moment still rather closed. Very good was the 2015 Goldtröpfchen with light ripeness and nice yellow fruit aromas, grapefruit, apple. But the real highlight of the location is the cheese. Cheese from affineur Wolfgang Schultz-Balluff matures here in a cellar that has become too small for the wine. These are rubbed with brine in their youth and later with Riesling von Melsheimer. Every day, a bottle of Riesling is put on the cheese wheels. The cheeses were great, both on their own and together with residual sweet Riesling from the winery. Especially the pomace cheese, which was left to mature for some time in already fermented pomace, is an experience. On the outside with pieces of marc, which remind of blue cheese when chewed on, and a creamy, hearty inside. Awesome! Very Awesome! If you live nearby and like cheese, you should definitely stop by and shop.

Finally another three great wineries. At Forstmeister Geltz-Zilliken the 2018 Rausch Spätlese and Kabinett are very slim and elegant. I’m not sure yet if I like this better than the wines from 2017, which, with very dense aromas, are at least my favorite Kabinett from 2017. Wait and see. Due to advanced time, von Hövel only has a “very good” remark in our notebook. A beautiful collection with very soft, balanced wines, all of which have remained in the mouth for a very long time. And shortly before 6 pm, Peter Lauer served a mash-fermented Riesling, which was still clearly Riesling in spite of the orange wine aging and with pear, apple, and the structure from the skins, completed the tastings in a worthy manner.

All in all, the warm summer was certainly clearly noticeable. In some places it was too much, which unfortunately led to fat melon sweets especially with the dry wines when things went wrong. But if the winery has come to terms and managed the heat and lack of rain, then 2018 is a really exciting vintage. And Mythos Mosel is a really exciting event to get an insight into the respective vintage. We will be back.

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