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.
Bernkasteler Lay is a Grosse Lage (grand cru) vineyard situated directly along the Mosel between the village of Bernkastel and the Dr. Loosen estate. As the name indicates, the soil is predominantly slate, but it is heavier and deeper than in the neighboring villages of Wehlen and Graach. This extraordinary vineyard produces richly textured, assertive wines.
Such a fun and juicy thing to drink. It has a tickle of spritz (at least as a young wine), sweet and fresh flavours of citrus and green apple sorbet, a bit of spice, some floral things, a subtle slaty texture and a brisk and tangy finish of fine length. It’s hard not to drink it too quickly. Tasted: Sep 2019; Alcohol: 8.5%; Price: $40; Closure: Screwcap; Drink: 2019-2024+; Rated: 92 Points; Gary Walsh; The Wine Front
Richer in soil and gentler in slope than Loosen’s other vineyards, Bernkasteler Lay produces some of his most welcoming wines. This 2018 is a fine example, the lemony fruit round and honeyed, yet carried with a clarifying acidity. It’s delicate even as it lasts on a lemon-blossom note. Rated: 91 Points; Wine & Spirits Magazine
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