The Other Mosel - Esoteric Summer Refreshment: 2013 Hild Elbling & Elbling Zehnkommanull

Posted by Joe Salamone

The Other Mosel:
Esoteric Summer Refreshment
2013 Hild Elbling & Elbling Zehnkommanull

Today, we move from Riesling to Elbling, from slate to muschelkalk (limestone.)

Above all, today, we explore the forgotten Mosel, the Upper Mosel.

The Upper Mosel is the extension of Paris Basin, the chain of kimmeridgian soil that rolls through parts of Chablis, Champagne and Sancerre.

If this conjures thoughts of crackling minerality, you're exactly right. When handled with care, which, sadly, it seldom is, Elbling is a beautiful prism through which to view this special terroir.

I'm happy to offer two Elblings from Matthias Hild that capture this with shocking clarity: his basic Elbling and his Zehnkommanull, a very limited Elbling sourced from an old terraced vineyard that clocks in at only 10% ABV.

The headliner for both of these is their chalky cut followed up by citrus zest and emphatic saline tang. Zehnkommanull kicks the fineness and concentration level up, but the extra complexity is delivered with a whisper-like subtlety.

The easiest analogy to work with is that of Muscadet - both wines are based on fairly neutral grapes that in caring hands can produce gorgeous wines of textured minerality and currents of citrus.

Much like Muscadet was years ago, Elbling from the Upper Mosel is viewed as being able to produce an inexpensive, merely enjoyable wine at best. Elbling can produce enormous yields and much of the production gets shipped to the coop to produce anonymous table wines.

And, like Muscadet, there are a couple of quixotic producers working very, very hard and reaching for something more from Elbling and this long over-looked corner of the Mosel.

That brings us to Matthias Hild, one of the Upper Mosel producers who is deeply passionate and a believer in the terrroir. With very little economic incentive, Hild has focused an incredible amount of energy on pursuing quality and working with terraced old vine parcels. I have long been intrigued by the Upper Mosel and its kimmeridgian soils, but until I tasted Hild's wines I never found anything from the Upper Mosel to get excited about.

And Hild's wines are exciting; for their pointed minerality, vividness and clarity. I first tasted Hild in May and have been waiting for the wines to arrive since. They are perfectly suited to the warm weather and just lovely wines.

I strongly advise you check both of these out. The value they offer and the energetic minerality make them wines not to miss.

To order, reply to or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits

2013 Hild Elbling & Elbling Zehnkommanull