Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen Riesling Columbia Valley Eroica 2000
Named after Beethoven's masterpiece, the winemaking partnership between famed Mosel winemaker Ernst Loosen and Chateau Ste. Michelle enjoyed a standing ovation at the August 2000 debut of the 1999 vintage. There was an overabundance of fine, sunny weather that continued nearly uninterrupted throughout the growing season, giving us more hours of sunshine than Germany has probably ever seen before. Bud break came very early, followed by a nearly perfect flowering, which developed quite quickly and uniformly throughout all our vineyards. The early-starting growing season and exceptionally hot summer produced ripeness levels that were above average with lower acidity levels. The wines from Pfalz show beautiful fruit and structure. Cool fermentation in stainless steel tanks was used to preserve the freshness of Saint M Riesling. Ernst believes in gentle cellar practices that allow the wine to develop its full potential with a minimum of handling and technological meddling. The quest for freshness is evident in Dr. Loosen's choice of the Stelvin screwcap for the bottle's closure. As Riesling specialists, the Dr. Loosen estate is especially sensitive to the issue of cork taint. After conducting trials at his estate for several years and considering numerous alternatives, Ernst found the Stelvin screwcap to be an ideal closure for early-drinking Rieslings. The Stelvin closure is known for preserving Riesling's fresh, lively character.
I'm quite fond of this Riesling. This particular vintage is expensive, but many other vintages are far more reasonably priced. This wine is light, bright, tangy. When serving it a dinner party, guests found delicate hints of green apple and lime flavors very appealing. For those not familiar with the wine maker, Ernst Loosen (it's pronounced Low-zen) is a the dean of German Rieslings, a notably eccentric and celebrated wine maker and it is a coup for Château Ste. Michelle to partner with him to make exceptionally good wine.