2019 Clemens Busch Marienburg Rothenpfad Riesling Grosses Gewachs
Clemens and Rita Busch are one of the pioneering organic, and now biodynamic, producers working in Germany. As the fifth generation winemaker at this estate, Clemens stopped using herbicides in 1976, then in 1984 he and wife Rita converted to organics. They were among the first in Germany to commit to organic viticulture and led the movement establishing an association of organic growers in 1986. The estate converted to biodynamics entirely in 2005, earning certifications from the EU and Respekt-Biodyn.
Based in Pünderich, almost all of the vines they work are on the slopes of the Marienburg, and unique for the Mosel, feature parcels planted on the three main colours of slate; blue, red, and grey. In the winery Clemens works with wild yeasts, and ferments mostly in very old 1000-litre barrels. Nothing is added to the wines at any stage, apart from a touch of sulphur at bottling. Most of the wines at the Busch estate are vinified dry, and they are rich, complex and often powerful. They age very beautifully, gaining in complexity and texture. However, the sweet and noble sweet wines from the estate are also impressive, ranking among the finest wines made anywhere on the Mosel.
From 80- to 85+-year-old vines on red slate, the 2019 Marienburg GG Rothenpfad is pure, very fine and flinty on the crystalline and concentrated yet pure, complex and still reductive nose. Silky, round and very elegant on the palate, this is a full-bodied, crystalline, juicy, persistently salty and structured Rothenpfad with great elegance, intensity, warmth and balance. Impressive—and surely exceptional with fresh porcini. Tasted at the domain in September 2020. Drink 2025 - 2045.
Stephan Reinhardt - Wine Advocate (Oct 2020)
Penetrating herbal freshness and a stunning combination of vibrancy and mineral intensity make this a very exciting wine already, the long finish as clear as a mountain stream. Great potential. From organically grown grapes with Fair’n Green certification. Drink or hold.
Stuart Pigott - JamesSuckling.com
This opens with a gorgeous sense of herbal savouriness that blends into the savoury stoniness. Crushed yarrow and potentilla not only play on the nose but also seem to give savour to the salty, concentrated palate. That saltiness is utterly mouth-watering and appetizing, flowing, smooth but oh so stony and herbal. Over the years, bio-pioneer Busch really has forged his very own style from this rhyolite site. The fact that it gets more morning than afternoon sun preserves those gorgeous aromatics in warm vintages like these. A glorious wine. Drinking Window 2025 - 2050.
Anne Krebiehl MW - Decanter
Aromas of green and yellow fruit mix it with flinty minerality. The palate shows a little more fruit than the straight Marienburg, grapefruit with peel and pith, but without any tropical aspirations. Nuances of salt and quinine give an almost medicinal tang, but a generous texture makes the medicine go down without any resistance. Very cool, the essence of mineral Riesling. Drink 2021 – 2028.
Michael Schmidt - JancisRobinson.com
The 2019er Marienburg Rothenpfad GG, as it is referred to on the main part of the label, was fermented spontaneously in traditional oak casks from fruit harvested in an iron-rich part of the Marienburg vineyard. It offers a beautiful nose made of mirabelle, grapefruit zest, a hint of passion fruit, and melon, all wrapped into a dash of whipped cream, some spices, licorice, brown sugar, and lots of smoky elements. The wine is firm, hugely intense but also somewhat unyielding at this stage on the palate but hints already at greatness to come in the marvelously spicy, zesty, and engaging finish. This is a great dry Riesling in the making. Drink 2024-2034.
Jean Fisch & David Rayer - Mosel Fine Wines