Vines Planted in 1896, A Breakout Vintage
2016 Carl Loewen Longuicher Maximin Herrenberg
Alte Reben 1896 Riesling Feinherb

Posted by Joe Salamone

Carl Loewen hit a new and incredibly high level in 2016.

Their Maximin Herrenberg Alte Reben 1896 leads the charge.

When it comes to depth and haunting nuance, the 2016 Maximin Herrenberg Alte Reben 1896 Feinherb is close to being without peer in the Mosel.

It's a wine that leaves a profound mark when you taste it. I remember tasting the wine last spring at an industry tasting. It immediately jumped out as the best wine I'd tasted in a long time. Loewen's importer, Terry Theise, named it the wine of the vintage of his German portfolio, which includes Willi Schaefer and Dönnhoff. It feels perfectly judged with just a hint of sweetness in its off-dry format.

This is a wine that possesses so many dimensions that its complexity seems bottomless. The magic of the wine, though, is the impression of effortlessness and the subtlety with which this is delivered. This is what makes the wine so moving.

The 1896 vineyard in Maximin Herrenberg was purchased from Weingut Schmitt-Wagner and Christopher Loewen is quoted by Terry Theise as say that it represents "the oldest Riesling vineyard in the world of this dimension (more than 6,000 vines)."

The wine gets handled in the most old school of ways with the intention of making wine in a similar fashion to when the vines were planted. The grapes are foot-pressed in the vineyard and then brought to the winery where they are pressed directly into barrel using an ancient basket press.

The wine that results is mind-bogglingly complicated. The texture is captivating; there's a deep, gripping almost meaty quality combined with an incisive, punchy acidity. The minerality in itself is seriously complex with notes of smoke, slate and wet rocks. It also possesses high-toned notes of yellow fruits, flowers and spice.

For the past few vintages, we've been very excited by the wines coming out of Loewen. Karl-Josef Loewen and his son Christopher have been fine-tuning their wines to great success. The 1896 bottling was Christopher's idea and has quickly became the most sought after wine of the estate. Production of the 1896 bottling is a single fuder barrel.

This is without a doubt one of the most interesting, successful and singular wines of the vintage. The 1896 is one of the 2016s that shouldn't be missed and demands following in the decades to come.

To order, please email us at or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone

Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits