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Dr Loosen has been in the same family for more than 200 years and its present guardian, Ernst Loosen, is one of the great characters of the wine world. He assumed ownership of the estate in 1988 and immediately realised that, with ungrafted vines averaging 70 years of age, in some of Germany's best-rated vineyards, gave him the raw materials to create stunningly intense, world-class wines. To achieve this, he dramatically reduced his crop size and stopped all chemical fertilisation, preferring only moderate use of organic fertilisers. And, most importantly, he turned to gentler cellar practices that allow the wine to develop its full potential with a minimum of handling and technological meddling.

This vineyard’s steep, southwest-facing slopes and deep soils produce wines that combine the elegance of Wehlen with the rustic strength of Bernkastel. This vineyard’s steep, southwest-facing slopes and deep soils produce wines that combine the elegance of Wehlen with the rustic strength of Bernkastel. Because of the forceful minerality from the abundant blue slate in the soil, wines from Graach have excellent aging potential and will improve in the bottle for many decades. The dark, multi-colored slate in Bernkastel and Graach produces wines with pronounced flavors of citrus and stone fruits, and a firm mineral structure

A small village named Graach lies between two more-famous neighbors: Bernkastel and Wehlen. This vineyard’s steep, southwest-facing slopes and deep soils produce wines that combine the elegance of Wehlen with the rustic strength of Bernkastel. Because of the forceful minerality from the abundant blue slate in the soil, wines from Graach have excellent aging potential and will improve in the bottle for many decades.

Joins with the Bernkasteler Lay in simultaneously proclaiming its vibrancy and piercing fruit and slatey acidity which puts this wine, too, a nose in front of the Wehlener. Rating: 96 points; drink to 2022; 8% alc; screwcap; $39; James Halliday

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