This is the second part of the Mythos Mosel 2023 report. It again took way too long to translate, sorry for that. The first part is this way.
Our day starts with whining. Loud wailing. Not from us, from others at the bus stop. The kind of loud whining that masquerades as a face-to-face conversation but is addressed loud enough to everyone around. About the chaos of the buses and whether a bus would even come. We had no problems the day before, except for a single longer waiting time, which was compensated for by boarding immediately at the next stop. So I can’t judge whether that’s justified, or whether people who wear gray and beige fabric jackets over beige hiking shirts combined with beige and gray zip pants just like to whine. In any case, I’m happy to be on this side of the tasting table again and to be able to simply ignore them because I don’t want or have to sell them anything. By the way, the bus arrived on time. Practically to the minute according to the timetable. We get in and drive through to Zeltingen.
If you want to taste the wine in peace and talk to the winegrowers at the stand, then Sunday is actually always a better day to do so. On the one hand, this is the reason why the event is so interesting, but on the other hand, it means that in the end you can do far fewer stations than you might have planned. Depending on where you end up on the way. Except for one station and the rough idea of starting in Zeltingen, we had no real plan and just let ourselves drift through the day.
If you get off in Zeltingen and follow the markings, you end up in Gessinger’s basement. We weren’t the only ones who had the idea of chasing the markers, which is why it was already quite full in the cellar. You also have to be a bit careful not to overlook the red cordon, otherwise you’ll be lying in the well where some Gessingers wines are stored. But we start at Reuscher-Haart. The Falkenberg Kabi Dry 22 is rather reserved with a lot of texture and a bit of citrus peel bitterness. Looking back, I’m no longer sure whether it was actually 22, because the online wine list says 21, but I wrote down 22. The other two notes are also marked as 21 in my notes. The Goldtröpfchen Kabi Feinherb 21 has a slightly reductive smelly nose and is super fresh and crisp. The Goldtröpfchen Spätlese 21 also has the stinker, but seems somehow smoother, thanks to the extra sugar. Both are still young and both are good. The Rothlay Spätlese Trocken 21 from Gessinger is even more dense on the nose and also has a decent portion of draft. This is very difficult to grasp right now. The Hifflay GG 2020 is already more mature, with light ripe notes, lots of spice, structure, a few herbs and beautiful fruit. I like the 56 Degree Feinherb Spätlese 2019 even better. It even feels a bit less ripe, it’s soft, perfectly balanced with citrus and a terrific texture on the tongue. Then, a bit off the list, there is Graben Auction Wine Riesling 22 Trocken, which is extremely long and stony, but also has a bit of fizz on the tongue. When that goes away, it gets really strong. I like the fruit of the Pinot Reserve 2020, but I’m missing a bit of edge. Then, off the list again, there is the Pinot Reserve Privée 2020, which has that edge but in return is a bit rough right now. But with a few years in the cellar I would prefer that one I guess. It was too loud and cramped in the basement for us, so we moved on to the young talents at Leo’s.
We’ll also start with Leo’s. The Freshman 2022 Zeltinger Schlossberg is super juicy but needs a bit of swirling and slurping to sip around the yeasty notes. And although I like it, the wine is immediately forgotten. The 2013 Kreation Johannes Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Feinherb is simply too good. This is so beautiful, so juicy, with citrus, honey, yellow fruit and stone. One of the highlights of this weekend and I just saw in the winery’s shop that it costs less than 10 euros. Crazy. The 2016 Zeltinger Schlossberg Spätlese Feinherb has also matured quite well and I really like 16 anyway, but there is not much that can be done about the feeling of happiness with the previous wine. The very typical 2019 Zeltinger Schlossberg Kabi Fruchtsüß rounds it off perfectly. Unfortunately, the homepage doesn’t look like young talent very much. A bit of a shame really. Continue with Simon from Lösnich. The Kinheimer Hubertuslay 2022 has a lot of fruit, stone fruit, some mirabelle plums and a bit of multivitamin juice on the nose. I like. On the other hand, the Lösnicher Försterlay 22 Feinherb has a hard time because it lacks a bit of traction. This is delicious, relaxed drinking wine, but it loses the comparison so directly next to each other. The Erdener Treppchen 22 Spätlese is super juicy and then has a lot of freshness again. The 70 grams of residual sugar are of course also there, but the balance is strong. And then with the Lösnicher Försterlay 2009 Auslese there is already the second really well matured wine at this station. More maturity, more sweetness, but very clean and still with great freshness. Complex and very beautiful. We chatted a bit with Gorges-Müller. Very nice winemaker (like everyone here at the station anyway and at the weekend in general). The Quarzitschiefer 2022 is juicy and salty at the same time and has a great mouthfeel. The 2021 -M- GG is even saltier, has more fruit on the nose and is basically just more of everything. The Hasenläufer 2022 Kabi Feinherb is hard to grasp for me right now. Herbal, ethereal and somehow a bit unusual but exciting. The Pfaffenwingert 2022 Kabi is then again typical Kabi with clarity, acidity and juiciness. The Gollenberg 2022 Spätlese has a bit of nut in the nose and at the same time this clear fruit. Ultimately, the big hit is the Auslese 2022 -M- with a really great spontaneous fermentation stink, clear fruit and a lot of density and expressiveness. That costs 12 euros here. Also crazy. But something should be done about the labels. They don’t do the great content justice. And that’s a shame as well. The Weller-Lehnert Weissburgunder 2022 is delicious, but seems a bit lost among all the great Riesling. Not the wine’s fault, I suppose. The Goldtröpfchen 2022 Trocken has pome fruit and stone and a great structure. The Goldtröpfchen 2020 GG has even more structure with fine maturity and so much density that you can chew on it. It was a really good station, which tore a big hole in the time budget, but what do you come here for if not for something like that.
We then walked a few meters further to Heinrichshof. While waiting for the bus the day before, we met a super nice couple who were designers at this very station. And because them and us complained about how old-fashioned and boring everything often is at the Moselle, and them wanting to do something about that, this had to be todays mandatory visit. We just wanted to see how they tackled the design here. And yes, it’s really nice here. Modern and somehow classic at the same time and in front of the house in the beautiful front garden you can eat a few Moselle tapas with a view of the Moselle. Bam, the next hole in the time budget, because there’s obviously wine to try too. It starts with Karl Erbes and the Ürziger In der Kranklei Spätlese Trocken 22 has a fruit to lie down in. Pear, apple, fine, clear, radiant. Great. The Würzgarten 22 Spätlese Feinherb is a bit on the more exotic side in fruit, has more stone and more spice, but is similarly beautiful. The Würzgarten 22 Kabi pulls your cheeks together so badly that the wine simply evaporates. Super juicy. In the Erdener Treppchen Spätlese 22 we have it again, this extremely clear fruit. Now with more sugar, but I just freaking love that kind of fruit in Riesling. The Würzgarten Selection 2020 is then more of everything. Two glasses will fill you up, but the two glasses are worth it. The Römische Kapelle 22 from Heinrichshof is once again a really juicy wine with a little phenol behind it. The 22 Schlossberg was partly matured in wooden barrels and certainly gets this great structure from that. And then we go up the wood influence range. The 2021 Sonnenuhr Rotlay Trocken has a year spend in wood that has tamed the 21 acid quite a bit. It’s crisp and soft at the same time. That’s good, but the 21 Schlossberg Reserve is even better. It is matured in a barrel made of oak from the Moselle as the first occupancy. The wine is super clear on the nose and in the mouth it has a grandiose structure with a vanilla note that lingers on the tongue forever and stays there. Very great wine. At Willems-Willems, a very slightly green but not immature acidity runs through the entire range. That was the only time this weekend that I really had such a single recurring element in every wine from one winemaker. The Saar Riesling 21 is expressively fragrant and otherwise a bit green. But not uncomfortable and I’m actually quite sensitive to that. The 21 Oberemmel Schiefer is very similar, only more elegant and dense. The 21 Altenberg Riesling fine dry lay in the used wood, which is only slightly visible at the back. I like. Finally the 21 Euchariusberg Kabinett with a lot of pull, a slight stink and a bit of smoke. Hüls then contributes the best Weissburgunder 22 of the weekend. There is so much tension in it that it really prevails between the whole Riesling thingy. The Schieferspiel 22 has a lot of stone and structure but is still a bit unsorted and is then referred to the places by the 21 Kröver Steffensberg. Although 22 is fresh, the 21 is just so much crispier and almost uncompromisingly sparse. That’s good.
It was already quite late and we really wanted to go to Graach and actually to Bernkastel-Kues. That’s why taking notes has suffered a bit from here on out. In Graach at Geierslay we really liked the Chardonnay Blanc de Blanc and also the Wintricher Alte Reben 2020. That was one of the best 2020s over the weekend with a lot of traction, great minerality and a nice heartiness in the mouth. Willi Schäfer only had four wines, but as expected, they were all pretty great. What was impressive was how fresh the Graacher Domprobst Spätlese 2018 was. Like last year, the Petershof collection was really good again, but you know, we ran out of time. And Blesius also suffered from the lack of time. Only Domprobst Spätlese 2022 ended up in the notes with an exclamation mark. As a place, Wehlen has completely fallen victim to the lack of time and in Bernkastel-Kues we only made it to the steep slope center. Luckily one has to say, because the wine from the Winninger Röttgen 21 and the Uhlen Roth Lay 21 of the Knebelbrüder are damn good and make it into the highlights of the weekend.
Then there is the conclusion. It was a really good choice, at least for us, to visit many young talents and to try out a lot of new things. It is not as crowded, you can talk a lot with the winemakers and really discover something new. Sure, you miss the vintage picture with the big names, but in case of doubt they end up in the shopping basket anyway. So what about the vintage in general? It felt like there was quite a lot to drink from 2021. In a direct comparison with relatively similar wines, 22 almost always lost. Which is actually unfair because despite the heat almost all 2022s had a nice fresh acidity. If there was something to complain about, it was often that the wines were a bit wishy-washy. It is difficult to say whether this is due to the winemaker or the vintage or the order in which the wines were sampled. What was also noticeable is that everything we tried, and we tried a lot, was at least okay. That hasn’t always been the case in recent years. And something else we noticed, we didn’t try a single PiWi, fungus resistant varieties that is. But that may have been due to our choice of stations, as I at least know that Stephan Steinmetz would have had (very tasty) PiWi. It’s a pity, really, because I always like trying out what you can do with the varieties. Even if that often goes hand in hand with the not okay wine examples. The bottom line is that I like 2022. It is much fresher across the board than I had expected and some Kabinett and Spätlese will probably find their way into the cellar. Wine highlights without claiming to be exhaustive were Knebel Röttgen 21 and Max Ferd. Richter Alter Satz, Grandbois Pinot PetNet, Steffens-Keß Riesling sparkling wine, Lehnert-Veith 2017 Goldtröpfchen Pinot GG, Leo’s 2013 Kreation Johannes Sonnenuhr, Gorges-Müller Auslese -M- 2022, Karl Erbes In der Kranklei SL Trocken 2022, Heinrichshof 21 Schlossberg Reserve , Knebelbrüder Uhlen Roth Lay 21.
The bottom line is that I like the Moselle. The landscape is great, the people are super nice and, as a Riesling drinker, you should have stood in front of a slate slope. But I wouldn’t go on vacation on the Moselle without such an event. It’s also kind of exhausting. To eat out? Kitchen closes at 8pm, kitchen closes at 8:30pm. Not a word about it on the phone when making a reservation at 7:00 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. In neither restaurant. I understand that the personnel situation is catastrophic. But then please say so. So it was actually too late for dessert. It’s already hard enough to find anything you want to go to and where you can get without a car, and still you are disappointed more often than not. After all, you could now pay by card everywhere. There are no ATMs in Brauneberg after all. 5 years ago that really was a problem for us because card payment was still a vision of the future. And overall, with many things you’re not quite sure whether it’s charmingly rustic or just plain old-fashioned. I’m afraid that the necessarily necessary switch from three e-bike pensioners next to each other on a small bike road to a younger generation of tourists will not be easy. But there are also good things to report. Every year we wanted to use sunscreen. Every year we arrived home sunburned. Not this year, despite two days of sunshine. And thanks to our great folding bikes, restaurants in the neighboring village are also within reach despite the Riesling all day. And in the Altes Kelterhaus in Wintrich we had a really delicious meal for a conciliatory culinary conclusion on Sunday. Only the photo opportunities were much more impressive last year with the Trittenheimer Moselle loop. Doesn’t matter. We will come back to the Moselle. If there is an event like this happening.