Make Mine a Mosel  –  Part 1

This is too long a story for one post….  So here it comes in 2 (or 3)  parts. A serial over two or three days, perhaps.

Mosel Rieslings are, to us, among the greatest wines in the world.   So, sometimes you just have to go there! Since this was our third trip in 10 years,  you can tell that with all of Europe to tempt us, the Mosel Valley is pretty special. The rest of the raiding party was Brother Hans and Inge (Mani drove Hans’ car), and Margrit and Roman in their vehicle.

It’s only a 7 hour trip – along the length of Bodensee (Lake Constance) out through Germany’s Black Forest, with dark wooded hills and narrow green valleys

across France’s Alsace region, with wide fields of grain…

Alsace expanses

– then back into Germany again.

Our dear friend Tom (the Tomtom GPS – a thousand blessings on his clever little brain) delivered us into the Mosel Valley a new way, through forested hills until we were starting to wonder if he had it wrong, until suddenly, like a curtain opening on a diorama, there was the grapevine filled valley and grapehills on either side of the Mosel River, and Trittenheim just below us.

The first time we went there, we had just “lucked into” Trittenheim.   That was the epiphany of the first bottle of Trittenheim Altarchen Riesling and the best snails ever eaten.  Have a look at my Healthy Hedonism blog for more on those. The short version is, we found that restaurant again, and the snails were still on the menu, and as wonderful as we’d mythologised them to be.

The second visit, in 2005, we put our bikes in the back of the car, to cruise the cycle tracks, steadily on the way out of Trittenheim, less steadily on the way back after visiting various Weingut (cellars).   That visit was the genesis of “the great wine-tasting under the Bridge” legend.

We’d just arrived, and our hosts said “quickly, go down to the bridge”.   The local vintners had set up a huge marquee with tables and benches – and we tasted 15 examples of the Trittenheim wines, all from vineyards you could see around you.  Our tasting notes got more extravagant and incoherent as the evening progressed, but there were asterisks and exclamation marks around one in particular – a 2004 Peter Arenz-Lorenz  Altarchen.

The Trittenheim Bridge – sadly sans wine tasting tent

Fast forward to 2012.

We’d booked a holiday apartment for the other four, and asked the hostess there to arrange somewhere near them for me and Mani.

We arrived and she pointed over the road:  we were staying at the Arenz-Lorenz’s.

We asked Peter if he’d put on a bit of a wine-tasting for the gang, which he did.

And, yes, you’ve guessed it – he still had some ’04.

They’d made too few labels, so some had sat in the back of the shed when they were selling that year….

And, it was as good as our notes and memories had promised… (the notes are under the bottle pictured right)…

And, he was still selling it at the 2004 price.

And then he bought out the 1998….

But he wouldn’t let us have the 1991 despite the fact that by then we were the firmest of friends.

Just as well we’ve enough passengers to warrant this with Customs…

To be continued…..