Energetic, idealistic young couple on a quixotic quest to gain renown for the great unknown sites of this part of the Mosel. Astoundingly reasonable prices for very high-quality juice! “Cool” chalky-minerally style, as if the wines were blended with 15% Blanc de Blancs Champagne. All that’s stony is not slate. Loewens have some wines on sand or gravel, and these have a “northern” coolness without being explicitly slatey. The wines from the sirloin-quality Laurentiuslay have a fruit all their own: feline and nectarine-y. Loewen also places high emphasis on fruit-freshness: “I don’t like ‘old-wine’ flavor and I definitely don’t like this petrol taste,” he says.
This comes from a hilly but not punishingly steep vineyard, on a mélange of soils including slate but not only. Often I think it smells a little like Blanc de Blancs Champagne, in fact. But this one is, as always, the very perfection of gentle old-fashioned sponti Mosel in its most winsome form, and this one has the salty concentrated kick of `12, along with the enticing slinky finish.
CORE-LIST WINE, though we may wean ourselves off it by 2015 if we can secure enough of the Herrenberg. But I’ll never stop offering this charming, modest old-school Mosel, a steady personal favorite, and a wine we’d sell more of if people tolerated or understood the way ambient-yeast fermented wines ACTUALLY SMELL. The ’13 is especially winsome, mineral and salty. ~Terry Theise
This is the best German wine on our core-list, and one of the great classic Mittelmosel Spätlesen. You pronounce it lore-rentyuse-lie, and this very old vineyard (at least 80 and some over 100) has never undergone flurbereinigung because the citizens of Leiwen voted it down as too expensive. So the vineyard shows its original little terraces and walls. It always shows massive fruit anchored to a deep almost meaty structure. That fruit runs to cox-orange and apricots, but it’s always profound, solid and grounded. The ’14 shows all that richness with the slinky green beauty of the vintage—it’s like a great 2004 in its bracing penetration, gleaming and sizzling through that big deep fruit. Wines like this are ’14 at its very best. ~Terry Theise