The Erden Prälat is the smallest grand cru vineyard at the Mosel with around 1.5 hectares of steep slopes. The label with the monk is reserved only for wines from this vineyard. The wine shows opulent fruits with herbal and smoky tastes on the palate. It has a huge body and a long echo on the tongue with vibrant acidity accompanying the sweetness. This wine will last for a couple of decades. Just a stunning wine.
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Smoky, spicy earth tones and whiffs of honeysuckle introduce this featherlight yet deeply concentrated Auslese. Lip-smackingly sweet yet racy in acidity, its sunny yellow peach and apricot flavors are dusted with hints of bitter toffee, mint and lime zest. This is a wine with a long, pure finish that should drink at peak.
Formerly a possession of the Cistercian Abbey at Himmerod it is one of the oldest estates in the Mosel region. As early as 1177 documents from Pope Alexander III show the Abbey owned vineyards in and around the village of Ürzig. After secularization the Eymaels in 1804 purchased the estate from Napoleon at an auction in Paris. The estates top vineyards are comprised of the very steep Ürziger Würzgarten, Erdener Treppchen and the “filet” piece in one of the prized jewels in the Mosel valley – the Erdener Prälat. All the vineyards are planted 100% to Riesling (all with original rootstocks).
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.