The amazing Clemens Busch and the king of grapes
The charming and self-effacing couple of Clemens and his wife Rita have gained a cult following over the past three decades for their laser-sharp, richly textured and terroir defined wines. Clemens pioneered organic farming in the early 1980’s, and have converted to biodynamic production since 2005. They are members of the elite VDP top producers of Germany.
Based in the middle-Mosel village of Pünderich, opposite the iconic Marienburg, where sharply angled slopes and terraces of multitudinous aspects on grey and red slate display their miraculous vines to sun and river. They know that Riesling is the king of grapes, the Mosel its most illustrious terrain and so produce its ultimate expression. Nowhere in the world is the identification of vine, winemaker and produce more precisely defined. I’ve tasted thousands of Rieslings over the years and nowhere on Earth have I found Rieslings to compare with these. In the sweet versus dry debate, it’s worth noting that Clemens only uses natural yeasts, preferring each wine to find its perfect balance in each vintage.
We’re privileged that Clemens and Rita have offered us a special allocation of their wines, several of which have never been seen in the UK and including the 99 point 2011 Trockenbeerenauslese.
The individual wines are listed and linked to below (all prices are per 6 bottles In Bond).
To the right on this page you can browse the cases we have put together (Duty Paid prices). Delivery when we have sufficient orders to fill a van! For any questions at all, do give us a call or drop us a line.
- German sparkling wine makes a fresh start to your summer.
- Riesling Sekt brut 2014 (£98.40)
Fresh green apples, peach, citrus and herbal aromas with a fine feathered texture.
- ‘Blanc de Noir’ brut 2011 (£123.60)
Pinot Noir sekt, complex and elegant texture, fine fruit.
Estate Wine (VDP Gutswein)
- Dry Riesling 2014 (£63.60)
Light but good grip, crisp with lemon flavours, stunningly firm and persistent finish for an entry-level estate wine – shows the class of this fine estate.
Village Rieslings (VDP Ortswein)
- Pündericher Kabinett (not organic) 2011 (£58.20)
Kabinett style with lower alcohol (8.5%), off dry, floral with apple and lime notes.
- Grey Slate 2014 (£85.80) and Red Slate 2014 (£85.80)
These amazing expressions of different vineyard characterise Clemens Busch’s winemaking. Rich wines, they vary from dry to off dry depending on the harvest. If you have never understood the effect of terroir, making wines from vines a few metres apart, try these two side by side!
Grand Cru Rieslings from the Marienburg VDP
Four top vineyards showing the best the Mosel can offer. The label Grosses Gewachs is reserved for dry wines, whereas Grosse Lage is used for wines above the 9g/l residual sugar level. All of these wines are perfectly balanced.
Grand Cru Sweet Rieslings (Grosse Lage Prädikatswein) from the Marienburg VDP
These ascend the heights of purity and sweetness from this iconoclastic winemaker.
- Auslese ‘Fahrlay’ (halves) 2009 RP93 (£175.20)
- Auslese ‘Goldkapsel’ (halves) 2014 RP95 (£219.60)
- Beerenauslese ‘Falkenlay’ (halves) 2006 RP92 (£549.00)
- Trockenbeerenauslese (halves) 2011 RP99 (£1,404.00) (available on purchase of at least 6 bottles of Clemens Busch wines)
More on the terroir
The name Fahrlay is made up of the words “Fahr” for ferry and “Lay” for slate. Blue slate is predominant here, a particularly hard stone that demands much of the vines and obliges them to make headway deep in the rock’s crevices in order to be supplied with sufficient water. The wines are particularly mineral-driven and almost salty.
Falkenlay. As the name implies, to this day falcons nest in the stone crevices in this area. It is particularly well protected from the wind, and was always treasured by old winemakers in the village as the best section in Pünderich. The predominantly gray slate furnishes the vines with all that they need. The wines tend toward creaminess and fruitiness. “Raffes” is a sub-section of Falkenlay.
Rothenpfad. This section was mentioned in the historic Mosel wine map as among the best in the region. The red slate that dominates here provides the wines with an herbal-spicy note, which makes itself especially clear with a bit of residual sugar. In particularly hot years, the southeast-facing orientation is superior to those sites that face due south.
Published on: July 6, 2016