Gernot Kollmann of Weingut Immich-Batterieberg

Mosel Strong

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“You don’t grow on a secure path. All of us should conquer something in life and it needs a lot work. It needs a lot of risk.” – Francis Mallmann

The vineyards of Germany’s Mosel wine region can be understood through beautifully rendered 19th century Prussian tax maps. They can be understood through the turns and the moderating influence of the mighty Mosel river itself, as well as through the varying colors, friability, drainage and heat retention capacity of its steep slate soils, but over those soils and on occasion carrying those soils back up their respective hills are the growers.

The paths of their vineyards and of their livelihoods are far from secure. Given parcels with inclines that begin at those of most escalators, these vineyards typically have few stairs and are often covered with shards of slate (shown below).

For the growers committed enough to work these slopes, years of tending their vines comes at daily physical risk and, ultimately, unavoidable physical cost, but for the sake of a storied viticultural history and for the myriad styles of wines that can only be coaxed from these mountain-like vineyards; there are many happy warriors.

We begin in the Middle Mosel village of Enkirch with one of the most charming and dynamic of Mosel growers, Gernot Kollman of Weingut Immich-Batterieberg.

An afternoon of tasting and chatting with Gernot makes clear that he easily could have worked and innovated to the top of any field, but he chose wine and we are all the beneficiaries. Gernot’s C.A.I. has become one of our go-to, dry-tasting Rieslings and his newly-arrived 2013 single-vineyard wines are distinctive, detailed, and delicious. The weathered gray slate of Zeppwingert gives a riper, juicier style, while the finely weathered blue-gray slate of the Ellergrub renders a spicier, more high-toned Riesling. Finally, the Batterieberg springs from more heterogeneous soils of gray slate, blue slate, quartz, and copper-colored stones that result in floral tones and powerfully mineral palate.

Remaining within the Middle Mosel, we transition to the village of Lieser and one of the most respected growers in the region, Thomas Haag of Schloss Lieser. Thomas works some of the most emblematic Middle Mosel vineyards like the Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr (pictured below).

This steeply sloped, south-facing, weathered Devonian slate vineyard can yield some of the most elegant and longest-lived Rieslings in Germany.

Next, we turn to the Lower Mosel and to the keeper of the Pündericher Marienberg vineyard (pictured below), Clemens Busch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Along with his wife Rita and their three sons, Clemens has been a pioneer in organic and biodynamic farming in Germany. In fact, he began avoiding the use of conventional herbicides and pesticides in 1974. The majority of Clemens’ 16 hectares of vines are found on the Marienburg hillside and include distinct sites of blue, gray, and red slate. Among the highlights are the old Riesling vines planted in the blue slate terraces of the Fahrlay and the old-vine Riesling in the red slate of the Rothenpfad parcels.

Remaining in the Lower Mosel, we move on to the village of Winningen, where the Knebel family bravely tends their terraced vineyards. Monorails are used to facilitate working from terrace to terrace, as pictured in one of their top sites, Winninger Rötgen (pictured below).

Despite the numerous challenges of working these sites, Matthias Knebel met and exceeded them by avoiding the use of herbicides in 2012. This required fastidious hoeing and manual weed-removal (pictured below).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Individually and as a whole, these growers are working some of the most challenging and physically demanding vineyards in the world. Their vineyards, in turn, are among the most emblematic and noteworthy in Germany. They deserve our support and their wines deserve a place at the table. We’re very proud to present a wide selection of fine Mosel Riesling!

Immich-Batterieberg 2013 Mosel Ellergrub Riesling

Gernot’s part of the Ellergrub lies just to the left of Weiser-Künstler’s parcel, which is great because they also work without chemicals in the vineyards. The 2.2 hectares of vines are 80 years and older and are ungrafted. The 2013 is having a moment right now, (re-tasted in 03/2017) showing development on the nose with deep honeysuckle notes, mirrored on the palate, along with ripe juicy peach, wildflower honey, and dark stones, managing to be both ethereal and powerful. Cari Bernard

  • white
  • 1 in stock
  • $55.99

  • Organic

Varnelli Amaro "Sibilla" 1 Liter

Named after the impressive mountain range in the Southwestern corner of the Marche, this spirit is a must-try for Amaro fans. The flavor profile definitely leans toward the drier, more herbaceous end of the spectrum and will seem quite bitter if you are used to Averna or Montenegro. The botanicals are wood smoked before maceration which adds a degree of complexity seldom found in Amari. Mountain honey is used sparingly to balance the bitter flavors. I have found Sibillia to be a delicious digestive, but also quite delightful at the shore when mixed with tonic and an orange rind. JR

  • herb liqueur
  • 5 in stock
  • no discount
  • $52.99

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Immich-Batterieberg 2013 Mosel C.A.I. Riesling Trocken

Named in honor of Carl August Immich, 19th century owner of the estate and the man purported to have used gunpowder-filled demolition charges to create the estate's craggy, slate, sloped monopole, Batterieberg; the C.A.I is a staff and customer favorite for zippy, dry-tasting Riesling. Sporting a pale straw yellow color in the glass, the nose offers aromas of lemon blossom, lemon grass, and sage. The palate is lifted by serious core of minerality that carries notes of tart lemon sorbet, verbena, and lime zest through to a pointedly tart finish. Delicious, daily Riesling!

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99

Immich-Batterieberg 2013 Mosel Zeppwingert Riesling

Eight terraces of old-vine Riesling planted in weathered gray slate, along the steep slope of the Starkenburger hang, provide the fruit for this pale straw yellow single-vineyard wine. Aromas of sultanas, hickory, and hyssop give the Zeppwingert a distinctly memorable nose. The palate is lifted by a zippy minerality that carries notes of cinnamon and coconut water through to a bitter orange pith finish. David Salinas

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $59.99

  • Organic

Immich-Batterieberg 2012 Mosel Zeppwingert Riesling

Finally, Zeppwingert. Gernot only has .5 hectares and it's directly next to Batterieberg. It's a terraced, ungrafted, old-vine section, and the vines used to belong to our friends at Weiser-Künstler until they sold to Kollmann. As is becoming a theme for this vintage, it's drier than in the past and has great depth, precision and superb length. -jfr

This shows less citrus notes than the other bottlings from this vintage and is instead voluptuous and mouth-watering, with more ripe pear. Enticing, savory, and fragrant with wet stones and a dark, sultry attitude. 100 year-old vines from a small parcel of just 8 terraces. JK

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $57.99

Schloss Lieser 2013 Mosel Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese

Sourced from the choicest section of one of the finest vineyards in the Middle Mosel, this late harvest Riesling has all the poise and polish one would expect from a grower's grower like Thomas Haag. Brilliantly golden in the glass, the nose offers aromas of peppermint, spearmint, hazelnuts, and apricots. The palate is tremendously complex and powerfully rendered by a core of minerality that is taut, nervy and mouth-coating. For a late-harvest, the residual sugar is perfectly integrated and underwritten by minerality. At a recent store tasting, this wine was greatly appreciated for its refined elegance.

  • Out of Stock
  • white medium-sweet
  • 0 in stock
  • $41.99

Busch, Clemens 2007 Mosel Pündericher Marienburg Ries Falkenlay BA 375ml

In addition to his bold, striking dry wines, Clemens maks some of the most unctuous, breath-taking, dizzying dessert wines of anyone in the world. The wines are harvested later than almost anyone else in the Mosel and have wildly high oechsle levels and soaring acidity to match. These extraordinarily rare wines are made in tiny, tiny quantities and we are thrilled to have even a few bottles to offer from the superlative 2007 vintage. -jfr

  • Out of Stock
  • white sweet
  • 0 in stock
  • $234.99

Busch, Clemens 2012 Mosel Pündericher Marienburg Riesling Fahrlay Terrassen

Delicate and subtle with spicy acidity. Loaded with minerals, menthol, and eucalyptus, with a satisfying tingle of energetic potency on the finish. Very expressive and complex, and will continue to improve over the next 5-10 years. JK

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $67.99

  • Biodynamic

Busch, Clemens 2012 Mosel Pündericher Marienburg Riesling Grosses Gewächs

Sourced from younger, 30-year-old vines grown in gray slate parcels of the Marienburg hillside, this Grosses Gewachs shows a finely detailed nose with floral and herbal tones. The palate is weighty and broad, but carried by a firm minerality. Big and bold Riesling!

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $49.99

  • Biodynamic

Busch, Clemens 2013 Mosel Pündericher Marienburg Riesling Kabinett

Pale golden in color, this Kabinett shows aromas of Granny Smith apples, lime blossom, and lemon zest. The palate has a delicious sweet and sour quality with a backbone of minerality that keeps things lively.

  • Out of Stock
  • white medium-sweet
  • 0 in stock
  • $28.99

  • Biodynamic

Busch, Clemens 2013 Mosel Riesling Trocken

Pale straw yellow in color, this dry estate Riesling shows a fairly complex nose of Granny Smith apples, pineapples, star fruit, thyme and marjoram. The palate is a rush of minerality that lingers with notes of lime blossom and tart lemon sorbet through to a smoky finish.

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $16.99

  • Biodynamic

Knebel 2012 Mosel Von den Terrassen Riesling

'Von den Terrassen' is a blend of Knebel's four terraced parcels, some of the steepest in all of Germany. Matthias' wines are shaded differently than those of his mentor Gernot Kollmann's at Immich-Batterieberg, though they are made in a similar fashion, with fermentation beginning spontaneously and ending naturally, not being forced to be sweet or dry. Knebel's lineup has a darker tint, full of mineral depth and finesse. These are dangerously drinkable, soulful, and crowd-pleasing. Most people will not detect the residual sugar but they will detect the deliciousness. Jonathan Kemp

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $24.99

  • Low Sulfur