The 2012 delivered only tiny quantities of sweet wines, and few prove as mesmerizing as this Auslese * made by the still under-rated Weingut Karl Erbes..
Our May Issue includes a comprehensive retrospective of the 2012 vintage including for fruity-sweet Riesling.
2012 proves a charmer but also a ripe vintage with some zest or a zesty vintage with some ripeness, depending on the nature of each wine.
Weingut Karl Erbes is a small family Estate tucked in a street in Ürzig. Family traditions go back generations here. Karl Erbes (now retired) is an unsung local hero and possibly the first “flying winemaker” ever: He was the cellarmaster to no less than six (!) Estate members of the VDP. We reported on this fabulous story in the Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 33 – January 2017).
Besides his role as winemaker, Karl Erbes tended a small family Estate which he gradually expanded when his son Stefan Erbes joined him back in the early 1980s. The Estate extends now over 6 ha with vineyards in some of the finest sectors of Ürzig and Erden.
As with so many of these smaller deeply-locally rooted Estates, tradition is a way of living. Wines are made the old way ... and the hard way: A major part of the holdings of the family are in a prime part of the Ürziger Würzgarten which is not only ultra-steep but hardly reachable.
Do not ask Stefan Erbes about his winemaking “techniques”, the answer will invariably be: “what do you mean? We do things the way we always did.”
In 2012, Stefan Erbes got the chance to lease a tiny parcel of the original Erdener Prälat. This parcel had belonged to a Berres sibling, who launched the Erdener Prälat in the late 1890s (lean more about this mythical vineyard here).
Immediately in the first year, Stefan Erbes produced a little masterpiece in the form of an Auslese *, which we highlighted already as “Wine of the Month” upon release, back in 2013.
The wine was made from partially botrytized fruit picked on century-old and un-grafted vines. The result was grandiose back when tasting it young in 2013. If anything, the wine proved even more complete now. It epitomizes everything great about both noble-sweet Riesling and the fiery finesse of Prälat. While hugely enjoyable now, this little masterpiece will offer much pleasure for several decades to come.
We understand that it may prove hard to lay one’s hands on this particular beauty by Weingut Karl Erbes as it immediately sold out back in 2013. But, dispair not: Over the years, this Estate has produced some stunners and yet has remainded firmly with its foot on the ground ... in true Mosel style. And, for lovers of mature wines, it regularly offers some aged wines as well.
The extensive 2012 retrospective
was reviewed in the Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 61 (May 2022).
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Erdener Prälat Riesling Auslese *
The 2012er Erdener Prälat Riesling Auslese * displays an absolutely stunning and captivating nose of caramelized fruits, marzipan, date, prune, orange peel, cherry, honeyed pineapple, acacia honey, orange blossom, ripe apricot, toffee, and bakery products. There is just a hint of volatile, which enhances the aromatics. The wine coats the palate with ripe and honeyed fruits, but all this richness is superbly underpinned by most beautiful zesty elements. The density is incredible, yet the purity and finesse are plain delicious. The nerve and depth of the captivating finish are breathtaking. While this is already firing on all cylinders, we would still choose to wait a few more years to allow the sweetness to integrate even more. What a stunning dessert wine! 2027-2062
© Text by Mosel Fine Wines "The Independent Review of Mosel Riesling ... and beyond!"
Disclaimer: Mosel Fine Wines is an independent publication and has no commercial relationship with any Estate, association or organization featured in this article.