To understand this seductive drop, accompany me on a lively tour through the vineyards of the Rothenpfad. In the process, the red dust leaves profound traces on our boots. This slate and iron oxide soil, which gives the area its characteristic name, is picturesquely situated above the Pünderich viaduct. Especially in the hot seasons, its south-eastern exposure makes the most of the sunshine. This privileged position even earned the site a place in the first category on the map of the Moselle, Saar and Ruwer 150 years ago.
After harvesting and sorting, the grapes, most of which are over 80 years old, undergo an extended maceration period. They are pressed very slowly under gentle pressure and fermented spontaneously. During this process, the must clarifies naturally through sedimentation. Beyond small amounts of sulphur, nothing is added to the purity of the wine. It develops in traditional Moselle barrels with a capacity of 1,000 litres. The bottling of the Grosses Gewächs usually takes place in late summer. The Reserve, on the other hand, rests for another year. During this time, the wine remains unsulphured for one year and with minimal sulphur for another year on its full lees in the Fuder.
Bathing in a pale golden yellow, the Marienburg »Rothenpfad 2019 Reserve's exquisite lees ageing is a step up from the Grosses Gewächs. The Riesling unfolds in a concentrated, fine and calm character that resembles a wonderful melange of mineral stone, creamy yeast notes and ripe fruits such as apples, nectarines, grapefruits and mango. These are joined by tart citrus notes, a hint of salt, petrichor and fermented Kampot pepper. Red berry notes, complemented by a hint of saffron, complete the typical flavour profile of Rothenpfad.
On the palate, the Reserve presents itself with an impressive maturity and cohesiveness, revealing a wonderful depth and fullness due to the long lees ageing and the fruit notes that have developed from it. These have become meatier and more pronounced. Despite its intense richness of flavour, the Rothenpfad retains its clarity and precision, with crystal-clear acidity and a slightly earthy, spicy red note with a hint of tannin standing out. Deep salty notes and a hint of oriental spices are also reminiscent of the classic Grosse Gewächse.
I recommend the Marienburg »Rothenpfad 2019 Reserve with roasted halibut on mint cream, accompanied by a risotto with pointed cabbage. Another option would be lemon sole with saffron risotto and baharat foam. Or try it with maqluba, for a spicy oriental touch.
Winery Clemens Busch, Kirchstrasse 37, 56862 Pünderich / Germany, organic certificate: DE-ÖKO-039