Region: Mosel, Germany
Color/Style: White Wine
The Upper Mosel has nothing to do with Riesling and nothing to do with slate. Instead, we find limestone. The Upper Mosel in fact represents the beginning (or the end?) of the Paris Basin, the geological reality that informs places like Chablis and Sancerre. Instead of Riesling, in the Upper Mosel we find a winemaking culture based on one of Europe’s oldest grapes: Elbling. It’s important to understand that Elbling here feels like something of a religion. It’s a culture, a regional dialect that is spoken through this wine of rigorous purity, of joyous simplicity, of toothsome acidity. The joy of Elbling is the uncompromising vigor and energy, the raucous and super-chalky acidity. Matthias Hild, who farms about six hectares in the sleepy town of Wincheringen, told me that back in the 1980s, when he’d have an Elbling clock in at less than 8.5 grams acid, he’d taste it and question if it was Elbling at all. Which is sort of like saying you’re not sure the music is loud enough because your ears aren’t bleeding.