Rolling on the Ruwer

by Chuck Hayward

Rolling on the Ruwer

Post by David Derby| April 27th, 2011

There was a time when the wines were labeled "Mosel-Saar-Ruwer."  Today, to make things simpler, they are lumped together as just "Mosel."  In my humble opinion, this is a mistake... as each river has its own soils, weather, and identity.

Pretty view, but where's the wine?

On our trip they saved the best for last, as we explored the teeny, tiny Ruwer River. The mighty Rhein is majestic; the Mosel has more twists and turns than the plot of a film noir. Then there is the Ruwer, what we would call a stream in America. Yet what it lacks in size, it makes up for in flavor. The wines produced from this region are probably the raciest of any in the world. This backbone of acidity is what makes them both food friendly and able to last not years, but decades.

Just outside the stately home of owner Dr. Carl Ferdinand von Schubert stands the magical hillside vineyard of Maximin Grunhauser. Looking up it is clear to see Abtsberg, the top vineyard (both literally and figuratively), then the Herrenberg on the middle of the hillside; and the Bruderberg. on the other side. To highlight the tasting we focused on these wines:

That's more like it!

2010 Maximin Grunhauser Herrenberg Kabinett Bright green tinged yellow. The first sip is electric, uplifting, and joyful—like waking up and realizing its Sunday and there’s no work today.

2010 Maximin Grunhauser Abtsberg Kabinett  A whole other level. Ripe apple and quince with just the quintessential touch of chalk. Alive, birds singing, etc. Excellent.

2010 Maximin Grunhauser Herrenberg Auslese  Boch pear, lemon and pineapple. Juicy, rich, and bordering on decadent until the acidity leads to a clean & refreshing finish that makes you ask for more. Beautiful! A+!