Mythos Mosel 2023 - Day 1

We were once again on the Mosel, this year between Kesten and Zeltingen, and this is a small travel report. This one covers the first day.

It was that time again: Mythos Mosel 2023. But translating to english took a bit longer than expected. For the travel reports in the blog, the circle of the three Mosel sections is now complete and it will once again be a longer article. We ourselves were already on site in 2018, which is why we are on the road for the second time in the section between Kesten and Zeltingen. Actually, we always try to stay somewhere in the middle for these events, but this time we ended up in Brauneberg, which is pretty much at the end of the route. This year the buses didn’t go in a circle, but in a big U from Brauneberg along the Mosel side and then from Zeltingen back towards Kesten on the other side. Over the years, our focus in visiting the stations has shifted a bit. We now use the event mainly to visit winemakers unknown to us and also to visit as many stations as possible with young winemakers, which are thankfully advertised in the flyer as Young Talent Stations. So if you want to read how the presented wines of the better-known wineries taste, I have to disappoint you. They only appear here and there. Just for starters, we thought we’d stop by Fritz Haag right away, since there probably won’t be that much going on at the beginning. Unfortunately we were not alone with that idea. For the rest of the day, we were planing for Mühlheim and then the opposite side of the Mosel. The possibility to change the side is naturally limited by the presence of bridges and just such a bridge is perfectly located between Lieser and Mülheim, so we could flexibly change the side here on foot. As in every year, a word about the wines that appear in the following. I write altogether only about what I like. Just because something does not appear, however, does not automatically mean that I did not like it. Not even if we drank other wines at the station. That could be the reason, but it could also be that the next bus has just arrived, or there were too many people, or we were hungry, or something else came up. And anyway, the significance of a tasting sip in the midday sun is limited. At the same time, however, it has always been the case that the wines that I liked on the Mosel also tasted good when I bought them at home and that I at least recognized my description. The report is this time divided into two days with the first day here and the second day and a conclusion later on when I get around translating or already in German.

It started as already said at the station of Fritz Haag. With very many other people. We start with Knebel: Terassen 2021 is expectedly crisp, with lots of acidity and structure with relatively little fruit. I like that sort of thing, but as the first wine on Saturday morning, it’s also a bit brutal. Terrassen Reserve 2021 is fruitier in acidity, but at the same time stonier and somehow more serious. Röttgen 2021 GG is then even more of the same. Very dense, still very closed, and also actually with yet more structure and substance. I’m sure this will become really good. Pretty hard to judge right now though. The Röttgen Kabi 21 is then more conciliatory. Also crisp, but apple-y, fresh, a bit of forest honey and with nice yellow fruit. At Quint there is Sauvignon Blanc Sekt 2021 Brut. Lots of cassis, some gooseberry, very fresh, the better half totally celebrates it. I’m happy to drink along. The 2022 Quintessenz Fassprobe is still enormously yeasty on the nose. Fine fruit in the background, much less acidity than the 21, but still fresh. However, I lack the experience to judge the sample. I can’t really see through the veil of yeast. 22 Wintricher Feinherb also still has yeast in the nose, but significantly less. Nice minerality, nice freshness. 22 Großer Herrgott smells quite ethereal, eucalyptus, bergamot. Very exciting, I’m then missing a bit of acidity here right now, but that’s also hard compared to the many 21s around it. This is about to become more apparent with Fritz Haag. The Brauneberg 1G 22 is fine, has yellow fruit, a little bit of tartness, some apple, some must on the tongue and really pleases us. But the Juffer 21 GG then irons over it mercilessly. There’s citrus and stone and that’s just so extremely much tighter in direct comparison that it’s really hard to taste side by side. I like both of them, right next to each other 21 more. The Juffer Kabi 22 has a very fine fruit, is very fresh, nice stone, also great. The Juffer Spätlese 21 then again with a lot of pull, but here of course neatly buffered by sugar. Some honey, some gooseberry, very good.

We then wanted to go to Mülheim and marched down to the church in the town center. Only to find at the church that the bus does not stop at the church but at Fritz Haag. So sprinted back up the hill and arrived just in time. Here a bit more signage would have been a good idea. Or we should have read a bit more information before. Anyway, it worked out and the pedometer in the clock is happy.

In Mülheim we started with the winery Bottler. Between all the Riesling, the Blanc de Noir 2022 is quite a contrast, but with its creaminess, the melt, the freshness and the currant fruit really good. The Vom Fels 2022 has a lot of structure, is stony, still seems a bit unfinished, but I like it. And also the Held Kabi Feinherb 2022 first needs a bit of swirling. Then develops very nice with fine texture and great fruit. The 2022 Thörnicher Ritsch trocken from the winery Longen seems much more present. Very fresh, crisp acidity and pretty straightforward. The Weissburgunder S 2022 from the winery Kallfelz I still had from last year positively in mind. This has a great texture, is creamy and nice and yellow. The Königslay Terrassen 2022 is slightly perfumed on the nose, cool, stony. In the mouth somehow still wishy-washy, but I think that will go away. It’s the same with the Stephansberg 22 Feinherb. The 2021 Jahrhunderte Merler Fettgarten Fruchtsüß (these names sometimes…) is naturally at an advantage there with a year more maturity. More draft, minerality, yellow fruit, very nice, very bright, clear, transparent, of course with significant sweetness with over 60 grams of residual sugar, but the balance fits perfectly.

We change the station within Mülheim to Max Ferd. Richter, but start with Dr. Hermann. The acidity in the Wehlener Sonnenuhr 2022 Kabi is superb. It’s almost creamy somehow, more orange than lemon, and then along with the fruit in the wine, it’s pretty great. The Erdener Treppchen -6- Kabi 2022, on the other hand, seems cooler and spicier but just as good. The Würzgarten Kabi Alte Reben 2022 feels the most unfinished of the wines here so far, but has super potential. I like what Dr. Hermann is doing every year anyway. The Erdener Herzlei Spätlese GK Alte Reben 2022 shows again why. Still slightly yeasty, very dense, intense, perfect balance, yellow fruit, stone, everything there. The 2019 Scharzhofberger Riesling Sekt Brut from the Bischöfliche Weingüter then loosens up with brioche, draught and fine fruit. And it bubbles beautifully to boot. The Scharzhofberger Kabinett 2021 is even crisper, cool and very straightforward. The Scharzhofberger Spätlese 2021 is basically like the Kabi only more of the same. More stone, more sweetness, more fruit, more good. At Max Ferd. Richter it starts with Altem Satz 21. Very restrained on the nose and with more structure than fruit, this is really tasty. However, the Domprobst Alte Reben Trocken 21 is not inferior to this in structure and is also very nice. The 22 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabi then again seems more orange than yellow in acidity, has more fruit but also a lot of freshness. The Spätlese 22 Bauneberg Juffer then brings the perfect balance of sweetness, acidity and structure. Unfortunately, the sip was a bit too small to really dive into it. I need a whole evening with this wine.

Now we continued on foot to Lieser, where we actually wanted to continue directly by bus. It was slightly delayed but we were in a good mood so no worries at all. What follows would have compensated for much more waiting time anyway. The location at Grandbois in Maring is simply beautiful. The way from the stop through the village to the winery, the courtyard, the meadow below. Already there a highlight and we had not even drunk something. The Jakoby PetNat was already delicious last year. A bit wild, super fresh and ideal after the wait. Honigberg Kabi 2020 with fine ripeness and lots of complexity. 2019 Sonnenuhr Trocken also slightly ripened with structure and great acidity. A bit of caramel without the sweetness on the nose, yellow fruit. One of the nicest wines so far. The 2022 Honigberg Kabi feinherb has a hard time against it. Is simply still too young and unsorted in direct comparison. The 2020 Pinot Reserve makes up for it with clear cherry fruit and lots of structure, smoke and fine tannin. The Riesling Flora 21 from Richard Scheid is straight but also soft in mouthfeel with a bit of multivitamin juice on the tongue. Liked. The 2020 Merler is much denser, more intense in aroma with even softer acidity and lots of extract. At the Kirsten winery, we try three Goldtröpfchen. The 2021 Goldtröpfchen trocken is almost a bit red berry in fruit, rather restrained, very fine and elegant. The 22 Goldtröpfchen Kabi smells of green, slightly unripe apple with a bit of grapefruit. Very straight and a bit limey in the mouth. The 22 Goldtröpfchen Spätlese is very similar to the Kabi with more acidity and less bite. It lacks a bit of tension in comparison, but that could be made up for by complexity with more ripeness. Brilliant then is the Saignee Pinot PetNat from Grandbois. This is wild, red-fruited, soft with slightly droppy cherry on the tongue, lots of clarity, lots of juiciness and a good amount of smoke. Really good. The Pinot Noir 2022 Nouveau has a lot of cherry on the nose and a bit of smoke as well. In the mouth fine tannin and also lots of cherry. This is wild and clean at the same time and also very nice. The 2022 Kabinett Maringer Sonnenuhr smells ethereal, wild, and also on the tongue this is somewhere between yeasty, tart, and whacky. The 2021 Kabi Maringer Hofberg is just as unassimilated on the nose, but more classic in the mouth with plenty of draw. The 2022 Auslese Maringer Sonnenuhr has the sweetness of an Auslese on the tongue, but this doesn’t smell like an Auslese at all. This tastes very clear, feels quite fine citrus, but the smell, not to be assigned when tasting. Crazy but exciting. The 2022 PetNat When Life Gives You Lemons is then a perfect end to the station here, fresh, a bit wild, juicy. Then down by the bike path sitting in the shade eating a Reuben Pastrami Sandwich. Pinot PetNat in the glass, smoker in sight, divine pastrami, the better half has an equally delicious Pulled Salmon Burger. A dream. Briefly, we consider just staying here for the day. Such a beautiful spot.

As a balancing justice for the wait earlier, the bus arrives here with us at the stop and we continue to Noviand. The 22 Krettnacher Riesling Trocken from Stefan Müller has the Saar-typical draw. Cool, rather sparse and with a decent bite. The 22 Nierdmenninger Feinherb has almost more draw and that despite the more sugar. The 22 Niedermenninger Herrenberg Feinherb adds a lot of stone and minerality and texture on top. This is really good. Similar to the 22 Niedermenninger Sonnenberg Feinherb, which has a really nice citrus acidity. Both still seem too young. We then slide into the Sonderverkostung Bubbles in between. No problem, since the station is unfortunately quite empty, at least while we are there. Very similar to Maring by the way. Extremly sad in way and I hope that was just our snapshot and both places got their deserved audience over the weekend. The special tasting was then also our chance to try Stephan Steinmetz, who we actually like to visit every year but unfortunately it didn’t work out this year. I really like his cremants. And the Riesling Sekt 2020 from Steffens-Keß is also really good with an exciting, ethereal nose. How convenient that they are here on site, too. The Reiler Goldlay 2021 is very restrained on the nose, but I like the mouthfeel, it’s somehow quite unique and the acidity seems fruity in a very exciting way. The Kabi Wendelstück 2020 then has more fruit on the nose, tame acidity, and then an unexpected juiciness out the back. Strong. And the 22 Kabi Reiler Goldlay Trocken also has that juiciness. It’s long and full of stone fruit. The 22 Spätlese Burger Hahnenschrittchen (these vineyard names…) still seems richly unsorted. This is dense and intense and also somehow charming but still clearly too young. Here the day is then quite advanced and because we absolutely still wanted to go to Kesten we were heading for the bus.

At Meierer we start with Materne and Schmitt. I did not know that they also make Rosé. This one is pleasingly serious and has a nice structure. The Wunschkind 21 is enormously juicy and has that minimal natural touch that makes this so much more exciting right away. Very nice. The 2020 Lehmener is juicy, clean, with structure and no offensive fruit on the nose. The 2020 Koberner then has even more structure and power in direct comparison. I like it more, the better half prefers the wine from Lehmen. That’s how it is sometimes. The 2020 Brückstück is still a bit more uncompromising and barren and the nose and despite 2020 actually still much too young. At the Weber brothers, the 21 Riesling Einklang is still quite young. Nice and juicy, but not really round yet. The 2020 Adonis Wiltinger Rosenberg is of course much less crisp in acidity due to the vintage alone, but the year of maturity in the bottle may have done good as well. The 2020 Aphrodite Feinherb has quite a charming stink and actually seems dry in the mouth. The 11 grams of acidity do their part there. Still, it drinks nicely with stone and fruit. The 2020 Wiltinger Klosterberg Kabi is almost flattering in contrast with still over 8 grams of acidity. So at the end of a long day of Riesling, I just feel better off there. Finally, the Oberemmeler Altenberg Spätlese 2020 is very fragrant on the nose. Some menthol, some yellow fruit and just the stone. Very exciting, very good. A winery that I didn’t hear about until now. Until last year, I also did not know about Lehnert-Veith. Since then, however, I know that great Pinots are pressed there. The Günterslay 2020 as an entry has cherry, dirt and powerful tannin structure. This is already really good. The Falkenberg 2020 then has even a bit more structure, while being finer and a bit wilder. Against the 2017 Goldtröpfchen GG, however, both see no light today. This is so beautifully matured, some meat juice, a bit of earth, some cherry and velvety fine. The tasting sip doesn’t do the wine justice, but wow is this beautiful. The jump back to Riesling at K.J. Thul is then a bit stark. The 22 Schieferklang is super young, but I like it as it is. What is immediately apparent here, however, is how difficult 22 has it against 21s that follow directly. The 21 Im Schneidersberg has so much more pull and then the 21 Ritsch Kabi is everything I want from a Mosel Kabi. Clear, cool, great freshness, fruit, stone. At Meierer then above all the 2020 Alte Reben Reserve stood out. This lies 2 years in the Fuder barrel and gets a really nice structure. And also the 21 Kestener Kabinett has a lot of texture to offer. This is a wine you can chew on.

Due to time constraints, however, we then had to return to Lieser, where we walked in the opposite direction over the bridge to catch one of the last buses to Brauneberg. This actually worked out exactly as planned and there was even a short round of treasury wines at Thanisch in Lieser in it. But no notes were taken anymore. Day 2 and a conclusion of the event and my impression of the vintage will follow in the second part.

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