February 11, 2013
After a couple of weeks without a Riesling from my beloved Mosel, I came across a bottle of ‘2011 Goldtroepfchen Gran Crue’ by Weingut Lothar Kettner in Piesport, Mosel.
I had no idea where the bottle came from. I must have bought it in Bangkok, I thought. But right when I opened it, I knew it was what I needed to celebrate the New Years eve of the Chinese Year of the Snake, the spring festival, as it is also called.
The golden colour is intriguing. The aromas are infatuating. Green apples and white stone fruit came to mind. A Riesling from the Mosel, a wine I adore. What wine would be better to prelude the New Year?
Faith – Love – Hope is the motto of the family winery Weingut Lothar Kettern in Piesport, Mosel. This is represented by the three symbols in the logo of the winery: the cross, the heart and the anchor. The vintner tradition runs in the family for about 200 years. The son of Lothar, Philipp Kettern, also know as ‘the wine pirate’ is now running the estate.
The Kettern family only grows Riesling grapes. Steep slopes, with cooler climate, are the preferred vineyard locations, so that vintage is late. Low yields, perfection regarding leave removal and environment friendly techniques are the key to success. The wines are hand crafted in the true sense of the word.
I will have to see that with my own eyes, next time I visit my beloved Mosel.
November 22, 2012
The other day, while I was waiting for my flight home to Bangkok, I discovered to my great amazement in the business class airline lounge of EVA Air, that a wine from my native Mosel was on offer.
What a pleasant surprise, I thought, when I spotted the label in the wine cooler. It was a ‘2011 Bockstein Kabinett Grand Cru’ by St. Urbans-Hof in Leiwen, Mosel. The wine village of Leiwen is only a couple of kilometers away from my home town Trier.
I have visited the winery and love their crisp-dry Rieslings. For the first time I had the opportunity to taste one of their off-dry wines. The terroir, “Bockstein” in Ockfen, a small village at the Saar river, a tributary to the Mosel, is also a place very dear to me.
From the raised hides in the hunting territory of Schoden (another village at the banks of the Saar river) one could have a glimpse of the “Bockstein”, a rock formation towering over the Saar valley. It’s vineyards are very steep and the Riesling grapes grown are famous for their high quality.
Off-dry whites are not my favourites, but of course this wine showed it’s outstanding quality. It was full and lush, smooth as silk in the mouth, with intensive and mellow Riesling aromas. It had also a long finish, and I loved the balance of sugar and acidity.
Moreover, I found my beloved Mosel (Saar) here, thousands of miles away in a place of Asia where I least expected it.