One of the star wines at this year’s IPNC was actually a dry Riesling. Erni Loosen popped by the table I was at with a remarkable dry Riesling, aged for two years in large barrels on the lees.
It was the 2011 Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Reserve Trocken, and it was remarkably complex, textured and detailed. It’s made from 100 year old ungrafted vines, fermented with indigenous yeasts, and matured for 24 months on the full lees old 1000 liter Fuders.
‘My Dad always told me that my great grandfather produced only dry wines until 1953, when my Dad took over,’says Erni. ‘He told me that my great grandfather always fermented the wines on indigenous yeast and kept the wines minimum 24 to 36 months on the full yeast in the Fuder cask! I always wondered myself, how this could work, because we always had been under the impression, that such a long cask aging would be too oxidative.’
‘Years ago, I started to mature all my dry wines for 12 months on the full yeast in the old Fuder cask, what already made the wines more complex. With learning by doing, we found out that the 24 month aging on the full yeast in cask, made the wines even more elegant, than the ones which been 12 months on the yeast! Just the opposite you would think! At least there is something right, what they did 100 years ago and without turning the wines to “vin orange” or “vin Naturelle”!’