Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Vineyard Tour and Wine Tasting at Weingut Clemens Busch – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2014)
Most of the area under vines of Weingut Clemens Busch is situated in the Pündericher Marienburg vineyard which covers almost the entire hillside on the opposite side of the river from the village of Pünderich. When you want to visit the area or when Clemens and his team want to work in the vineyard, you and they have to take the ferry boat across the Mosel river.
This is exactly what we did with Rita Busch during the Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours, before returning to the beautiful, restored half-timbered Busch family home, built in 1663, for a wine tasting, where Clemens Busch joined us. Because flooding is a constant danger, the vaulted cellar, built in the 1970s, lies nearby, on higher grounds at Clemens’ parents’ home.
In a region most known for the noticeable residual sugar and low alcohol of its wines, Clemens Busch’s focus is on dry premium Rieslings that can compete with the best dry whites in the world. He also produces off-dry wines as well as powerful, complex noble sweet wines. In 1984 he began using organic viticultural practices and more recently moved towards biodynamic.
Weingut Clemens Busch
Weingut Clemens Busch is one of the top producers in Germany. And not only that. In a region where the humidity and extremely steep vineyards make most wine makers to rely on some level of pesticide, Clemens Busch is 100% organic/biodynamic. And: In a region where noticeable residual sugar in the finished wine and low alcohol is the calling card, Clemens Busch’s focus is on dry premium Rieslings that can compete with the best dry whites in the world. But Clemens Busch also produces off-dry wines as well as powerfully complex, nobly sweet wines.
Weingut Clemens Busch is in Pünderich in the Mosel Valley, rather far down stream. The Busch family lives near the banks of the Mosel in a restored half- timbered house built in 1663. Because flooding can occur here, the vaulted cellar, built in the 1970s, lies nearby, on higher ground, at Clemens’s parents’ home.
The business has been run by Rita and Clemens Busch since 1986, with son Florian joining the team in 2008. Clemens is the fifth generation winemaker at this estate.
Vineyard area: 10 hectares
Annual production: 55,000 bottles
The winery is since 2007 member of the VDP (Association of German VDP).
Weingut Clemens Busch is considered by many to be the master interpreter of the natural winemaking approach in Germany. Clemens Busch began using organic practices in 1984 and more recently moved towards biodynamic. Winemaking is practiced in accordance with the guidelines of the ECOVIN association.
Most of the area under vines is situated in the Pündericher Marienburg vineyard which covers almost the entire hillside on the opposite side of the river from the village of Pünderich.
Until the wine law of 1971, the Pündericher Marienburg consisted of several small plots and not without good reason, because the wines grown in the different parts of today’s Marienburg vineyard are still very different. It is not only the different slate soils but also the special microclimates that play an important role here. To emphasize the specific differences that exist within the Pündericher Marienburg, the corresponding wines of Clemens Busch still bear the names of the old plots (Gewanne): Fahrlay and Fahrlay-Terrassen, Falkenlay and Raffes, as well as Rothenpfad and Felsterrasse.
Fahrlay and Fahrlay-Terrassen, directly across the river from the Busch’s house, consist mainly of blue slate, producing a Riesling with a particularly intensive mineral flavor and slightly salty notes in the finish.
Falkenlay, including the old-vine section called Raffes, is made up of grey slate, producing particularly creamy, fruit-driven Rieslings.
In the cellar, it is obvious that Clemens Busch does without high technology. After crushing, the grapes undergo skin contact and ferment spontaneously in both stainless steel and in oak Fuder (wooden casks of 1000 liters), sometimes into the next year’s harvest. In addition to lees contact, Clemens Busch likes to do lees stirring to increase the wines’ fruitiness and richness.
As an exception, special yeast is used for noble-sweet wines where the sugar levels are sometimes so high that wild yeasts would not even begin to work. The wine ages in the oak fuder.
The Wines we Tasted
We tasted an impressive selection of Weingut Clemens Busch wines. Except for the 2 warm-up wines, all were VDP.Grosse Lage wines, both in the dry and sweet taste ranges (GGs, Spätlese, Auslese).
2012 Clemens Busch Riesling Vom Grauen Schiefer trocken VDP.Ortswein
2013 Clemens Busch Riesling Vom Roten Schiefer trocken VDP.Ortswein
2012 Clemens Busch Marienburg GG Rothenpfad trocken VDP.Grosse Lage
2012 Clemens Busch Marienburg GG Fahrlay trocken VDP.Grosse Lage
2012 Clemens Busch Marienburg GG Falkenlay trocken VDP.Grosse Lage
2011 Clemens Busch Marienburg GG Falkenlay trocken VDP.Grosse Lage
2009 Clemens Busch Marienburg GG Falkenlay trocken VDP.Grosse
2005 Clemens Busch Marienburg Spätlese Fass 41 VDP.Grosse
2011 Clemens Busch Marienburg Spätlese Goldkapsel VDP.Grosse
2009 Clemens Busch Marienburg Auslese Fahrlay VDP.Grosse Lage
The Weingut Clemens Busch wines are widely available in the US. Louis/Dressner is the main American importer. I also found them on the website of David Bowler Wine in New York.
Louis/Dressner: We have no brands. We are not looking for them. We do have a group of often fanatical growers who are doing their best to make wines that are original because they are honestly crafted. These might seem old-fashioned, but in the present context it is almost revolutionary.
David Bowler Wine: Is a New York based importer and distributor focusing on naturally made, small batch wines from around the world. Working with importers and directly with wineries, it is our mission to present wines of personality and character, wines that reflect something about where they are made and who made them.
They currently have 12 different wines in their portfolio, ranging from estate wines to super noble-sweet wines, including the following:
Riesling Trocken 2012: “A good winemaker doesn’t make wine, he merely accompanies it during its creation. The fundamentals of this are always to be found in the vineyard. The cellar contains the art of intervening as little as possible and mainting a healthy environment for the natural processes.” -Clemens Busch. Clemens and his wife Rita are at the cutting edge of biodynamic agriculture and minimal-intervention winemaking in the Mosel. 11.5%, naturally dry fermented.
Weingut Clemens Busch in the Mosel Valley, in Washington DC, USA (2014)
Riesling Kabinett Marienburg 2011 :‘The Busch 2011 Pundericher Marienburg Riesling Kabinett originates, as usual, in a windy, high-altitude portion of this Einzellage that permits long hang-time without high must weight or risk of botrytis, in this instance, until the end of October, though as Busch readily points out, it had become “almost too ripe by then for a classic Kabinett.” Fresh white peach and fig offer enticing aromas and a succulent palate impression. This is expansive and caressing yet (at 9% alcohol) retains a delightful sense of levity, and lime and grapefruit lend a tingling, lip-smacking sense of refreshment while warding-off any sense of excess sweetness. While not enormously complex – for now, anyway – it’s quite irresistible, and ought to be worth following for at least the better part of a decade. 90 Points” David Schildknecht, The Wine Advocate #206, April, 2013
Riesling vom roten Schiefer 2011: Another village wine from parcels planted on red slate. It is Half-trocken, as Clemens rarely gets it to ferment dry. Fermentations stop at 11g or 14g but sometimes can go as high as 20g in residual sugars.
Thanks you very much Rita and Clemens fpr a wonderful experience.
schiller-wine: Related Postings
4 Wine Tours by ombiasy coming up in 2015: Germany-East, Germany-South. Germany-Nord and Bordeaux
Coming-up: Wine & Art Tour to Saale-Unstrut - Saxony - Franken - Württemberg: Germany-East Tour by ombiasy WineTours (June 11 - June 20, 2015)
Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy, 2014
Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy, 2014
Weingut Pawis (Saale Unstrut): Estate Tour and Wine Tasting with Kerstin Pawis – Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)
Weingut Kloster Pforta: Vineyard Tour, Cellar Tour and Tasting with Managing Director Christian Kloss – Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)
Winzerhof Gussek in the Saale Unstrut Region: Cellar Tour, Vineyard Tour and Tasting with Owner and Winemaker André Gussek – Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)
Tour and Tasting at the Historic Weingut Juliusspital in Würzburg, Franken – Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)
Weingut Bickel-Stumpf in Franken: Vineyard Walk and Wine Tasting with Reimund Stumpf, Matthias Stumpf and Melanie Stumpf-Kröger - Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)
Kiedrich: Visit of the Basilica of Saint Valentine and of Weingut Robert Weil - Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)
Kloster Eberbach in the Rheingau: Tour and Wine Tasting - Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)
Wining in the Steinberg Vineyard – Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)
Visit: Winzerhof Thörle in Saulheim, Rheinhessen – Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)
Wine Tasting at Weingut Kühling-Gillot in Bodenheim: Kühling-Gillot and Battenfeld-Spanier Wines – Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)
Vineyard Walk, Cellar Tour and Wine Tasting at Weingut Künstler – Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)
One of the Bio-dynamic Stars in Germany: Weingut Peter Jakob Kühn in Östrich, Winkel – Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)
In the Mittelrhein Valley, an UNESCO World Heritage Region – Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)
schiller-wine: Related Postings (Weingut Clemens Busch)
German Star Winemaker Clemens Busch, Weingut Clemens Busch in the Mosel Valley, in Washington DC, USA (2014)
Tasting with Rita Busch at Weingut Clemens Busch in the Mosel Valley, Germany (2014)
The German Winemakers at the 4th Riesling Rendezvous in Seattle, USA (2013)
With Wine Maker Clemens Busch in Puenderich at his Winery in the Mosel Valley, Germany (2013)