Loosen Bros. Dr. L Dry Riesling 2020
This well-rounded Riesling is the dry counterpart to the lightly sweet Dr. L Riesling. Together, these two wines provide a glimpse into the unique stylistic diversity of Riesling, capturing the elegant and racy characteristics of steep, slate-soil Mosel vineyards at a very reasonable price. They are produced with grapes from contracted growers throughout the Mosel River valley who work closely with brothers Ernst and Thomas Loosen to achieve excellent quality in every vintage.
Loosen Bros. is Ernst Loosen, of the renowned Dr. Loosen estate, and his younger brother, Thomas. Together, the brothers work with small growers throughout the Mosel region to source fruit for the wines, which are vinified by the same highly skilled cellar team that produces the Dr. Loosen estate wines. Very strict quality standards require that the growers improve their viticulture in order to sustainably grow the healthy, perfectly ripe fruit that Ernst and Thomas want for these wines.
The Loosen Bros. wines embody the elegant and racy style of classic Mosel Riesling. They are refreshing and fruity, with a fine mineral edge that is typical of the region. Dr. L Rieslings are made with fruit that comes exclusively from traditional vineyards with steep slopes and slate soil. By working closely with local growers on long-term contract, brothers Ernst and Thomas Loosen are able to maintain excellent quality in every vintage.
Following the Mosel River as it slithers and weaves dramatically through the Eifel Mountains in Germany’s far west, the Mosel wine region is considered by many as the source of the world’s finest and longest-lived Rieslings.
Mosel’s unique and unsurpassed combination of geography, geology and climate all combine together to make this true. Many of the Mosel’s best vineyard sites are on the steep south or southwest facing slopes, where vines receive up to ten times more sunlight, a very desirable condition in this cold climate region. Given how many twists and turns the Mosel River makes, it is not had to find a vineyard with this exposure. In fact, the Mosel’s breathtakingly steep slopes of rocky, slate-based soils straddle the riverbanks along its entire length. These rocky slate soils, as well as the river, retain and reflect heat back to the vineyards, a phenomenon that aids in the complete ripening of its grapes.
Riesling is by far the most important and prestigious grape of the Mosel, grown on approximately 60% of the region’s vineyard land—typically on the desirable sites that provide the best combination of sunlight, soil type and altitude. The best Mosel Rieslings—dry or sweet—express marked acidity, low alcohol, great purity and intensity with aromas and flavors of wet slate, citrus and stone fruit. With age, the wine’s color will become more golden and pleasing aromas of honey, dried apricot and sometimes petrol develop.
Riesling possesses a remarkable ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining its identity. A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, this versatile grape can be just as enjoyable dry or sweet, young or old, still or sparkling and can age longer than nearly any other white variety. Somm Secret—Given how difficult it is to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling from the label, here are some clues to find the dry ones. First, look for the world “trocken.” (“Halbtrocken” or “feinherb” mean off-dry.) Also a higher abv usually indicates a drier Riesling.