About This Wine
Erdener Prälat (pronounced AIR-din-er PRAY-laht) is considered by many to be the greatest vineyard in the Mosel region. Dr. Loosen has the largest holdings in this legendary four-acre vineyard, with 1.5 acres. The site has perfect southern exposure, a 100-percent (45°) slope, very old vines in mineral-rich red slate soil, and an ideal location directly adjacent to the river. All of these advantages, combined with its position below huge, heat-retaining cliffs, explain why Dr. Loosen never harvests anything less than Auslese-level ripeness from this vineyard. The gold capsule is reserved for an Auslese of special distinction. For us, that means Erdener Prälat, the tiny slice of perfection that sits at the base of the red slate cliffs between Erdener Treppchen and Ürziger Würzgarten. Because of its ideal exposition and warm vineyard climate, Erdener Prälat always produces the most kaleidoscopic wines, pulling together elements of all the other singlevineyard sites into a glorious singularity. This special selection is made from clusters that are fully botrytis affected, but not quite shriveled to Beerenauslese concentration.
About German Wines
Germany is the world’s northernmost fine wine producing region and thus requires its vines to endure some of the coldest temperatures. Fortunately, the country’s start variety, Riesling, does well in cooler climates and can survive even these freezing winters.
Germany Riesling is classified by ripeness at harvest which is also used to indicate the wine’s level of residual sugar. Picking earlier means the grapes have less time to ripen and the corresponding wines will be on the drier side; while picking later gives the grapes the opportunity full ripen and produce a lusciously sweet Riesling. The classifications from driest to sweetest: Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Trockenbeerenauslese and Eiswein (ice wine). While not as common to age white wines outside of Chardonnay, top tier German Rieslings can be aged for decades.
Other notable white grape varieties produced in Germany include Müller-Thurgau (a cross between Riesling and Madelaine Royale in the search for varieties that could withstand the extreme temperatures), Grauburguner (Pinot Gris) and Weissburguner (Pinot Blanc). The cooler German climate leads to earlier harvesting in general and gives German wines a distinctive character of higher acidity.
Historically red wine has always been harder to produce in the German climate. However, Pinot Noir grown in slightly warmer pockets of the country, has been highly successful in recent times. Going by the German name, Spätburgunder, German Pinot Noir can be elegant, structured and have vibrant acidity.
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