Last Friday the new Prince Wine Store in Sydney hosted a very special tasting of rieslings from some of the world’s top winemakers and emerging stars, most of whom had come to Australia for Melbourne’s Riesling Downunder extravaganza.

One of the highlights of the tasting was the opportunity to meet one of the major stars of the German wine industry, the very personable Erni Loosen of Dr. Loosen in Mosel.

Like pinot noir, riesling is a grape capable of doing a brilliant job at expressing the sense of place, and the wines of Dr. Loosen are unmistakably the product of the very special Mosel terroir.

Dr. Loosen has over 25 hectares of south-facing vineyards in Middle Mosel, spread across some of the most spectacular and steepest vineyard terrain in the world. Here the soil is a mix of pulverised volcanic rock and broken-down red and blue slate over a hard slate base.

Interestingly, the composition of the top soils can vary markedly according to the vineyard’s altitude and its location along the Mosel River. Over the last few decades, Erni has invested a great deal of energy in nurturing the very best fruit from his labour-intensive vineyards. Organic fertilisers, restricted crop size and careful fruit selection are just some of the practices employed to ensure that even the most subtle differences in terroir are expressed in his range of sophisticated, single vineyard wines.

Loosen VineyardThe Dr. Loosen Bernkasteler Lay Riesling Kabinett 2012 for example, which was one of the highlights of the tasting, comes from Bernkasteler Lay, a Grand Cru vineyard that hugs the slopes of the Mosel River near Bernkasteler Village.

Here ungrafted vines of up to 70 years of age are grown on soils of predominately blue slate that are deeper and heavier than in the neighbouring villages. It’s … Read the rest