It is a rare opportunity to meet one of the world’s great winemakers, but a few weeks back at Chateau Ste. Michelle I had that chance. One of the famed Mosel estates, the Dr. Loosen estate has been in the same family for more than 200 years. Dr. Ernst Loosen assumed ownership in 1988, he realized that, with ungrafted vines averaging 60 years old in some of Germany’s top-rated vineyards, he had the raw materials to create stunningly intense, world-class Rieslings. He was the only one of his siblings interested in taking over the winery and Ernst focused on becoming one of the regions top winemakers, as he completed his studies at Germany’s renowned winemaking school in Geisenheim and then completed a self directed review of the great wines of the world including Austria, to Burgundy and Alsace, even to California. He wanted to visit these great winemaking regions and learn from other top winemakers. Dr. Loosen has gained an International reputation for killer value Rieslings that shows that special blue slated terroir and bright minerality of the reigon. He has also been collaborating with Chateau Ste. Michelle for more than a decade and helps produce what is year after year one of Washington’s top Rieslings, the Chateau Ste. Michelle ‘Eroica’ Riesling.
For his wines Dr. Loosen sources from some of the Mosel’s top vineyards including the Wehlener Sonnenuhr and the Urziger Wurzgarten. I was absolutely blown away with the recent releases from these spectacular vineyards. Look to the 2017 Dr. Loosen ‘Wehlener Sonnenuhr’ Kabinett Riesling (WWB, 93) which holds a spectacular degree of tension and has some serious range. It is a stunning Kabinette style Riesling. The 2017 Dr. Loosen ‘Urziger Wurzgarten’ Spatlase Riesling (WWB, 93) has an exotic appeal for its candied grapefruit and pineapple flavors. It is a simply delicious Riesling. I had the great opportunity to try the 2016 Dr. Loosen ‘Grosses Gewachs Urziger Wurzgarten’ Riesling (WWB, 95) which has a scintillating, unctuous texture and incredibly good aging potential. Learn more about this famed winery at https://drloosen.com Here are the beautiful new wines by Dr. Loosen
2017 Dr. Loosen Riesling- The wine shows lemongrass and kumquat and wet stone on the nose. Bright, with good acidity and a touch of sweetness, this is highly quaffable. Drink 2018-2022- 88
2017 Dr. Loosen ‘Blue Slate’ Riesling- Sourced from estate grown vineyards from the villages of Bernkastel, Graach and Wehlen, this Kabinett style Riesling begins with wet stone and green apple on the nose. This shiows good freshness and intensity with bright kumquat, Gravenstein apple and minerals. The racy acidity impresses. Drink 2018-2024- 90
2017 Dr. Loosen ‘Wehlener Sonnenuhr’ Kabinett Riesling- The nose here is highly perfumed with ripe pineapple, green apple, green papaya and wet stone that fills the nose. The palate shows wonderful freshness and intensity. Ripe peach, wet stone, lemon zest and wet stone flavors all marvelously combine. The exceedingly long finish continues on. This fabulous effort will cellar well for a decade or more. Drink 2018-2030- 93
2017 Dr. Loosen ‘Urziger Wurzgarten’ Spatlase Riesling- The ‘Urziger Wurzgarten,’ aptly translated as ‘spice garden’ is set on volcanic and blue slate. Ripe pineapple, nectarine puree and candied green apple aromatics fill the nose. The palate shows good weight and tension. Lemon zest, candied pink grapefruit, and ripe pineapple with wet stone character all impress on the palate. This has some serious aging potential. Drink 2018-2030- 93
2016 Dr. Loosen ‘Grosses Gewachs Urziger Wurzgarten’ Riesling- Weighing in at 12.5% alcohol and .7 residual sugar, this wine is highly perfumed with nectarine and lychee with hints of nutmeg and Gravenstein apple. The palate is fat and downright intoxicating with Japanese pear, wet stone, petroleum and a stunning, near minute long finish. A stunning wine, this gorgeous wine will cellar well for decades. Drink 2019-2040- 95