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.
A small slice of perfection, the four-acre Erdener Prälat produces some of the greatest wines in the Mosel valley. It has 100 percent south-facing red slate soil and an extraordinarily warm microclimate, yielding wines of unequalled power and nobility. "An enormously rich mango and papaya character. Great concentration and some opulence on the palate. The very long finish is brimming with spices and bitter almonds. Try to be patient because this will develop beautifully. Drink or hold. Rating: 97 Points; Stuart Pigott, JamesSuckling .com
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