Musings from the Mosel

*This blog is a step away from the norm; Abstract, some could say erring on the arty..!

Early October 2022, from a steep slope in the Mosel Valley..

The light shimmers thought the vines on the precipitous slopes catching bunches of iridescent grapes hanging closed tightly around shoots, bursting with expectant flavour, waiting. Snip, sudden, direct and successful. That year’s fruit plucked and taken to tell the tale of the vintage. The warm start, the frost, the drought, the rain, some rot….

Standing in the Oely vineyard where vines have stood for over 100 years, pre phylloxera, pre wars. Waiting, standing, providing. There’s an holistic element to a vineyard. The silence, the birds, the unspoken promise of fermented fruit. No phones, just secateurs and the gentle shushed tones of your fellow pickers. Silence, stop. Meditation for the mind.

Mid morning, an amble down the steep slope. Some young half fermented wine to boost the reserves. A moment to take in the view, what a view, what a place. Marginal in terms of viticultural extremes, both climatic and in form.

Steep slate, dark schistous, ascend through the upright vines, majesty echoed by their stillness, the solid form, each year bearing fruit for the eager vigneron. Picking resumes, the gentle rhythm. Cut, look, smell, taste, removing rot, rejecting some. Cropping continues, the baskets fill. Lunchtime. Distant bells ring in the hour. Descend.

Steaming pots, brot, blumenkohl and wurst. Warm, autumnal, sustaining. After lunch a fortifying schnapps and return to the rows, there’s an afternoon warmth in the slant of the sun. It’s a beautiful day. With the vineyard complete we descend once more, this time walking, through the vines, down the stairs, across the river and back to base.

The ancient crusher and press is loaded with fruit. Riesling crushed and laid open to the air, nothing added, nothing taken. A gentle oxidative process driving stability and resilience for the wine. Dinner, discussions and then back to the press room. King Crimson or David Bowie dominate the speakers. The forthright engine driving the bladder to press the wine is loud, effective, the opposite to the gentle pressure it exerts on the grapes. The juice is collected, taken by gravity down to the cellar below. Nothing added, nothing done, just crushing and pressing, rocking and singing.

Farming is for the soul, time to think, a focus on the now, the present. Time passing, no panic. Pursuit of a goal. To pick the vineyard, to crush the grapes, focus on ferment, fill the vat, still the wine and to bottle.

Wine is reflection in a glass. Of weather, bolstered by the shape taken from the soil, from the roots, from the life under our feet. An expression of health, the past, the present and the future. Connection.

Natural wine is a pure expression of both. A guiding hand vital, recognising danger, infection, invasion. At Weingut Trossen the process is careful. The wines take time, time to evolve, time to show character. Patience, like the vines in the vineyard, the generations gathering grapes, patience to let the wine become itself, become a reflection.

Wines tasted at Rudolf’s table:

Pyramid 2021

Low volume

Honey and beeswax on the nose

Warm, rounded mid palate. Lots of beeswax, steely tones.

Spicy. Orange blossom notes. defined with dense longevity on the finish. 17

Lay 2021

Higher toned nose, subtle, precise

Spicy acid, lovely acid tones. Powerful spice Carrie’s though. Citrus and pear. Minty hint.

Lovely – 17.5+

Madonna 2021

More volatile, bruised apple peach. The most natural profile on the nose. more tropical.

Golden robes, intensely concentrated. Ginger spice. High glycerol, botrytis tones. Nutty, brioche notes

Very spicy. Steely power. Concentrated & long. 18-

Pyra-Donna Petnat 2019 just 12 bottles made

Honied brioche on the nose

Textural. Gentle mousse

Creamy, nutty, walnut. Sweet orange tones

Lifted sponge on finish. Very long 17.5

Hubertus 2020

Creamy, elegant nose

Warm toasty palate, chalky poised. Together.

Lovely 18.5+

Schieffergold, 2019

Golden apple tones

Rich salty, spicy orange tinted mid palate.

Pretty intense, lifted 17

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