Our extensive 2009 retrospective confirmed the beauty of the vintage. Few fruity-styled wines were as refined as this stunning Auslese by the Merkelbach brothers.
Our extensive 2009 retrospective with over 150 wines re-tasted will be released in the coming days. It showed that these wines are remarkably accessible: They are easy to understand, not overly acidic, and packed with succulent fruit.
The stunning 2009er Ürziger Würzgarten Auslese (Auction) by the Merkelbach brothers underpins this like few others.
Ask any grower in the Mosel who still does things like in the old days and chances are high that the name Merkelbach will fall.
This is no surprise. These two over 80 year-young growers have stubbornly continued to produce wine like they always have done, right since they joined the family business ... over 60 years ago!
The vines are old and trained on single pole. The yields are high. The Merkelbach brothers are quite open about it: 100 hl/ha is not exceptional. The wines are harvested not overly late, parcel by parcel, and are fermented spontaneously in traditional oak casks before each cask is being bottled separately.
You will often find several different bottlings of Spätlese and Auslese from the same vineyard in any vintage which only differ by the AP number (we published an article on understanding the AP numbers a few years ago).
For those interested to learn more about these amazing growers, we published an in-depth article on the Merkelbach brothers in the Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 33 (Jan 2017).
2009 was a warm vintage with quite some rain just before the harvest. This type of growing conditions suited perfectly the vineyard approach of the Merkelbach. High yields limited the sugar level concentration on the vines and single pole training reduced the exposure of the grapes to the direct sunlight.
Overall, the Ürziger Würzgarten sector, one of the last full walls still planted with grapes on single pole in the Mosel, did quite well in 2009.
The 2009er Ürziger Würzgarten Auslese AP 14 was a special cask which the Merkelbach brothers decided to sell via the annual Trier Auction of the Bernkasteler Ring (an association in which the family has been a member since decades).
The wine was fermented down to 9% of alcohol, i.e. a little bit higher than what has become the norm lately for fruity-styled wines. Also this proved perfect as it buffered off some of the sweetness and perfected the balance in the wine.
Overall, the wine is already quite enjoyable but still gains from extensive airing. The result is magnificent. There is fruit. There is zest. There is ripeness. There is freshness. But above all, there is balance and elegance.
This wine proves a great success and is also a tribute to the high quality of the wines crafted by the Merkelbach brothers since over half a century.
Our full retrospective of the 2009 vintage was published in the Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 45 (Apr 2019). You are a subscriber and miss this Issue? Simply send us a request by email and we will be happy to send you a copy. You are not yet a subscriber and wish to get this Issue? Subscribe free of charge by registering yourself here below and ask us for a copy by email.
Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese (Auction)
The 2009er Ürziger Würzgarten Auslese AP 14 was auctioned off in 2010. This bright hay-colored wine offers a gorgeous nose of pear, citrusy fruits, aniseed herbs and smoke. It is delicately creamy and not overly sweet on the elegant and playful palate and leaves a gorgeous feel of creamy pear, grapefruit and herbs in the long and incredibly pure finish. The freshness, elegance and lightness are simply remarkable, especially for such a ripe vintage as 2009! This is an ode to the greatness of Mosel Auslese! Now-2029
© Text by Mosel Fine Wines "The Independent Review of Mosel Riesling"
Disclaimer: Mosel Fine Wines is an independent publication and has no commercial relationship with any Estate, association or organization featured in this article.