2010 Dr. Loosen Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese

Year: 2010
Appellation: Mosel
Country: Germany
Wine Spectator: 93
Wine Advocate: 91
Vinous Media: 90
White Wine
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"Very creamy, with a bright acidity behind the peach, gooseberry and elderflower flavors. Ripe apricot and vanilla chime in as well, with lime and slate lingering on the broad, rich finish. Drink now through 2035. 250 cases imported." (WS)

"The Loosen 2010 Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese A.P. #24 brims with both fresh and confitured strawberry; as well as honeydew melon, with fresh lime and a hint of salt serving for refreshment and saliva-inducement. A smoky-stony alliance more familiar from Treppchen lends counterpoint to an infectiously juicy yet richly-fruited and subtly honeyed finish. Expect this to flourish for 20 years.

Cellarmaster Bernhard Schug offers an unadorned impression of the travails of 2010, in which he extensively double-salt de-acidified his musts. “This was especially necessary for the dry wines,” he points out, adding “I’m frankly surprised that those turned out as well as they did. The most stressful aspect of the harvest is that we waited for gradual diminution of acids and additional ripeness in flavor until we couldn’t wait any longer, and then it was a real rush to pick. It was an agitated, tension-filled autumn, and that is the way the wines turned out, too. We could have de-acidified another gram or so and ended up with an acid profile like that of 2009, but this would have been a mistake and have sacrificed the individuality of the vintage.” While Erni Loosen remains a staunch defender of residually sweet, delicate Mosel Kabinett as a category, his 2010s unfortunately underscore the challenges to achieving consistent success with this genre in an era when even in this, the rainiest growing season in nearly a quarter century, must weights galloped. It was with joy and relief that I began tasting the series of residually sweet Spatlesen from this collection, because what went before – with three exceptions – was frankly disappointing. Loosen has elected to henceforth accentuate the difference between Spatlese and Auslese by incorporating in the latter category, as Schug puts it, “more botrytis than we would have had in an Auslese three years ago.” (For the 2010s, that meant around one-third of the fruit.) The corollary of this – which has the desired result of simplifying the portfolio – is that with the exception of Pralat there is not, and will likely also not be in future, any gold capsule Auslese. Interestingly – though this can certainly be a matter of caprice and luck – only one of the wines in this year’s collection displayed any “Mosel stink” from fermentative residues or reductive reaction with the dose of sulfur applied at bottling, even though this phenomenon can often be a short-term annoyance with the odd Loosen bottling and was encountered quite often in other Mosel collections of the 2010 vintage. (If I could explain the phenomenon in question more adequately chemically, I would be only too glad to publish that explanation; but extended correspondence with scientific specialists has thus-far proved far from decisive.)" (WA)

"Peach, mango and a hint of honey on the nose. The sweet, but austere peach flavor with its subtle spiciness is highlighted by the slate. Well-balanced, extremely elegant and nicely persistent." (IWC)