2015 Dr Loosen Erdener Pralat Riesling Grosses Gewachs Reserve
This dry Mosel masterpiece is a sleeping giant, just beginning to awaken, but has decades of life ahead of it. Extremely deep and concentrated, but no less finely delineated, this is so complex you could spend hours studying all the spicy details. However, the ripe-mango note that dominates the foreground is also ravishing. The best wine of this category (long matured GGs) made so far in Germany! Drink or hold.
In reviewing the “regular” vintage 2015 Erdener Prälat Reserve, I looked forward comparing the eventual Reserve bottling, and expressed “my hunch ... that the latter will prove not just more expressive in its early years but also longer-lived.” Well, that time is here, and at least in terms of expressiveness, this tasting unfortunately failed to confirm my hunch. This Reserve appears less successful than the “regular” Grosses Gewächs in reflecting Loosen and Schug’s determination (beginning with 2004) to capture an animation and dynamic exchange of flavors in all of their Prälat bottlings that were missing when the site was getting picked later and based more on achieving high must weight. The nose here shows an oxidative tendency that I haven’t noted in other Loosen Reserve bottlings, though in itself, I don’t consider that a problem. Prickly notes of lemon and kumquat zests, along with an incisive note of white pepper, are very much in keeping with how the “regular” Grosses Gewächs performed in its youth. But smoky black tea and Latakia tobacco, along with suggesions of wet stone, moss and lichen, take the nose here to a new level of complexity. So far, so good – very good, in fact. Furthermore, the midpalate comes off as slightly slimmer as well as more texturally refined than that of the regular bottling, which might in part be a function of alcohol having been blown off by an additional year in cask, but also and in large part of lees buffering. It’s the finish of this Reserve – though impressive in its sheer persistence – that I find a letdown. A slightly dank alkaline and mossy impression seems to be all that remains of those elements that the nose led one to anticipate, and there is a sense of opacity, with only modest primary juiciness. “This is just Prälat being Prälat,” insisted Loosen, “and it needs time to come back.” As for longevity, that must obviously also remain an open question. Drink 2022 - 2026.
David Schildknecht - Vinous