The Lower Mosel Rises!2005 Clemens Busch "Vom Roten Schiefer"

Posted by CrushWine

It's rare that all of us - myself, Joe and Tom - are able to sit down and taste together. But when we got a call from a new German importer bringing in the top producers of the often-overlooked Lower Mosel, previous engagements were cancelled and believe me we were all present and accounted for.

While at the moment the wines of the Lower Mosel are relative rarities sought out and obsessed over by the impassioned few, this is going to change.

The top producers of this region are beginning to catch the critics' eyes (Clemens Busch was just voted into Germany's VdP!) - and for good reason. The best of these bottles are incredibly complex expressions of Riesling that veer towards a drier, more compact style. They also happen to be radically undervalued.

Case in point: Clemens Busch's 2005 "Vom Roten Schiefer" is a wine that overflows with a spectacular richness and complexity in this decidedly drier style; this is a bottle for more than just Riesling fans! At about $20 this is my "go-to" bottle for affordable indulgence!

The "Vom Roten Schiefer" comes in at slightly above 9 grams of sugar per liter (for a wine to be labeled "trocken," or dry, it must have less than 9 g/l). This is a bottle that will inspire fans of drier wines that are rich with fruit and texture - think top-level Chenin Blanc. I would also encourage those who enjoyed the Petite Arvine from last week's email to try at least a bottle of this Riesling.

Clemens and Rita Busch are no-nonsense producers who follow their own vision - no compromises. They farm their uber-steep vineyards organically (most within Punderich's Marienburg) which makes them unique in this region where organic farming is a *serious* commitment in time and energy. The Busch's also compose their bottlings based on the quality of various plots with little patience for German wine law or the fickle demands of the marketplace (see below).

My original tasting note highlights the strong first impression this bottle made on me. Here it is, word-for-word: "Super-complex nose of rich melon fruits, citrus, roasted earth and savory stones, dried rocks, spice... ultra-perfumed. Rich and full on the palate, clean sappy fruits, dense, yet delicately structured... lean and compact. Very clean and put together... with time the nose becomes deeper and rich, dark brown spices, carmelized fruits (melon), lots of goodness. Wow."

I don't exactly know what I meant by "lots of goodness," but there it is - a spontaneous and earnest expression of wonder.

I first tasted the "Vom Roten Schiefer" many months ago and have been eagerly awaiting its arrival; it's here now and it's spectacular. Support great German winemakers off the beaten track and revel in a Riesling of dazzling complexity at under $20! The supply of this wine at the lowest price in the nation is limited, so please call (212) 980-9463 as soon as possible to place your order.

Stephen Bitterolf
Wine Buyer & Lower Mosel Fanatic
Crush Wine & Spirits

2005 Clemens Busch "Vom Roten Schiefer"

For more on the stunning Rieslings of the Lower Mosel, Click Here!