Weingut Dr. Loosen
Dr. Loosen is a wine producer based just outside Bernkastel in the Mosel region of Germany. Headed by wine personality Ernst "Ernie" Loosen, the company is easily one of Germany's most famous Riesling producers, and has won numerous awards for many of its wines, from the widely sold Dr L. Riesling upwards. Ernie Loosen, who has been in charge since 1988, was Decanter Magazine's Man of the Year in 2005 and is widely considered to be one of the world's most influential winemakers.
The estate owns six major vineyards, all of which were designated as Erste Lage in the 1868 Prussian Classification of Mosel vineyards. These include famous names such as Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Erdener Prälat and Graacher Himmelreich, and wines from these sites are released as single-vineyard labels. As well as the mineral-rich slate and volcanic soils, and classic, long, cool summers, these rocky vineyards also have old, ungrafted vines, including some more than 120 years old.
Dr. Loosen makes a wide range of styles, from botrytis-free dry Rieslings to rich, lush sweet wines. The dry Rieslings are made from fruit that has had a long hang time to fully ripen, allowing flavours to develop and acidity to soften. These wines are fermented and matured in large oak casks using indigenous yeasts with at least 12 months on the lees. The finest lots from the Erste Lage vineyards are bottled as single-vineyard wines with a corresponding ripeness level: Kabinett and Spätlese for non-botrytis wine; Auslese, Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese for the different sweetness levels of botrytis-affected wines. Eiswein is also produced when conditions allow.
The generic Estate wines come from a select group of growers on long-term contracts, whose vineyards are on steep slopes with slate soil. As well as the introductory Dr. L, the estate also produces the dry Red Slate and the fruity Blue Slate cuvées. Overall production is around 70,000 bottles per year, making Dr. Loosen one of the larger players in the Mosel region.
The company also produces red and white wines in the Pfalz region of Germany under the Villa Wolf label. Other ventures include the Eroica Riesling in Washington State with Chateau Ste. Michelle and J. Christopher Wines in Oregon.