Some thoughts on Clemens Busch GGs

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A.Gillette
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Some thoughts on Clemens Busch GGs

#1 Post by A.Gillette » October 14th, 2020, 6:16 pm

I’ve been drinking quite a few Clemens Busch GGs recently. I think the wines are very good.

I drink a lot of German wine and a lot of Mosel wine, and I’d seen these frequently at my local wine shop (Chambers) but didn’t have any experience with them until the somm at Momofuku Ko helped me find my way to a bottle. I didn’t know much about them and didn’t have any pre-conceived notions, although I’m generally not a huge fans of wines without sulfur and would have judged these in mind, probably on the negative side, beforehand if I’d been familiar with the minimal sulfur regime.

All of the wines have those salty, herbal elements that I associate with very old vines from the Mosel. I like that. But it is really the differences between them that are the most striking. The 2017 rothenpfad starts shy and reserved and of the wines I’ve tried its the one that carries its slate closest to it, although it is also the youngest. The 2015 Fahrlay is a different thing altogether with the fruit much more out front, different than any other Mosel GG in the sense of being a very fruit-forward and flowery wine - like it was from the Pflaz - but all the while retaining the stone and herbs and salt - definitely something special for me and a wine worth seeking out. The 2015 felsterrasse shares the family DNA with the Fahrlay, but is as dark and brooding as I can imagine a Riesling to be, and there are waves of complexity buried underneath the surface and it needs time. The 2016 Fahrlay does not currently show the complexity or nuance of its older sibling from 2015, and I’m tempted to say that it will have a much longer youth during which it will be much more tightly coiled, but the elements that make a wine great are there.

I have not had a raffes and I understand that there are reserve wines that undergo extended time in the barrel. I have not had the opportunity to try these. But I am intrigued by these wines and will try them all.

Some of these are in the area of $100. The Fahrlay is about half that. I think they are priced appropriately and when I see a picture of the Marienburg vineyard I think that they should probably cost more. I think the Fahrlay is a steal and something very special. It must take a lot of labor and a lot of extra cost to work this vineyard as Clemens Busch does.

Many thanks to Rob Panzer for helping me assemble a parcel of these from some previous vintages that I missed.

Alex
Last edited by A.Gillette on October 14th, 2020, 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Alex

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D@vid Bu3ker
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Re: Some thoughts on Clemens Busch GGs

#2 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » October 14th, 2020, 6:19 pm

They are indeed very good wines. I have a small number, but for some reason never reach for them, and so did not buy more. I feel the same about Heymann Löwenstein.
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Re: Some thoughts on Clemens Busch GGs

#3 Post by Karl K » October 15th, 2020, 7:58 pm

I have 2013 and 2015 rothenpfad but have not tried yet; any thoughts?
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Re: Some thoughts on Clemens Busch GGs

#4 Post by Robert Panzer » October 16th, 2020, 7:27 am

Both Clemens Busch and Heymann-Lowenstein have had stylistic changes since the early part of the 2010 decade, specifically to produce botrytis free dry wines, which wasn't the case in the past.
I think that Clemens has made the finest wines of his career since 2015 (a sentiment shared by just about anybody), and anyone who likes dry Riesling (and off-dry for that matter; he makes awesome prädikat wines, but his reputation is built around his dry wines) and hasn't tried the wines over the past few vintages should. They are chock full o' "somethin' special".
They are plain fantastic to my taste.
Heymann (whom I also imported for the 2016/2017 vintages, but have not since) is more difficult to love for me. I admire the vineyards, and appreciate the wines more cerebrally than holistically (with my head, heart, and balls/guts, I like to say).
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Re: Some thoughts on Clemens Busch GGs

#5 Post by Mattstolz » October 16th, 2020, 8:14 am

Thanks for posting thoughts on these. I wish that chambers was my local shop

A.Gillette
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Re: Some thoughts on Clemens Busch GGs

#6 Post by A.Gillette » October 16th, 2020, 8:55 am

Karl K wrote:
October 15th, 2020, 7:58 pm
I have 2013 and 2015 rothenpfad but have not tried yet; any thoughts?
If you haven’t had this producer’s wines I’d open the ‘15 to see if you like the style. They seem to come and go without a whole lot of noise (notwithstanding Rob’s good work to get me some back vintage) so it makes to find out if you want buy more. I was surprised by how open ‘15 seemed now.
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Re: Some thoughts on Clemens Busch GGs

#7 Post by Robert Dentice » October 16th, 2020, 8:56 am

One of the things I like most about Clemens (besides that he and wife are extremely nice people) is that his wines are unique and different from so many other wines that are in my regular rotation.
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Re: Some thoughts on Clemens Busch GGs

#8 Post by Arjan Stavast » October 16th, 2020, 1:00 pm

I remember visiting him on the 2nd of January, driving through a snowstorm for 4 hours. We had a brilliant tasting of his entire collection, including Raffes. Amazing to taste the difference between the parcels which are all really just on the same slope. Fahrlay was my clear favorite, loved the liquid pebbles supporting the fruit.
I went very deep on his ‘15s, including piles of magnums and double magnums. They went dormant pretty quickly after release though and it seems like I urgently need to try one if they’re that open now!
Importer of Sophienwald and Code38 in the Netherlands. Big lover of German Riesling and Spätburgunder as well as Loire Chenin Blanc.

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Re: Some thoughts on Clemens Busch GGs

#9 Post by DanielP » October 16th, 2020, 1:13 pm

I'm a fan - really enjoyed the wines when he was pouring at rieslingfeier and enjoyed some 2015 GGs like the base Marienburg. I have some '19 spatlese and auction kabi to try his sweet stuff.

I think Busch and Immich-Batterieberg are my two favorite dry Mosel producers. Not as big on H-L.
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Re: Some thoughts on Clemens Busch GGs

#10 Post by Arjan Stavast » October 17th, 2020, 12:12 pm

I just remembered how he shared that he’d often go in his vineyards at night. Reason being that it’s be quiet enough them for him to hear any snails munching (or whatever they do), so he could remove them easily. Beautiful mental image!
Importer of Sophienwald and Code38 in the Netherlands. Big lover of German Riesling and Spätburgunder as well as Loire Chenin Blanc.

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Re: Some thoughts on Clemens Busch GGs

#11 Post by Tom DeBiase » October 17th, 2020, 12:35 pm

Beautiful people, great wines. During a visit two years ago we were supposed to taste with a colleague of Clemens and Rita. When we arrived I was surprised to see Rita hosting the visit. After a long visit tasting, talking and learning I asked why she was hosting the visit. Rita said her colleague cancelled and she did not want to call and have us cancel our visit. She postponed her own vacation for us and was going to join her husband after we left. Needless to say we were stunned by her sincerity and generosity. Their vineyards across the river are amazing to see.
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Re: Some thoughts on Clemens Busch GGs

#12 Post by g.colangelo » October 18th, 2020, 4:26 am

Robert Dentice wrote:
October 16th, 2020, 8:56 am
One of the things I like most about Clemens (besides that he and wife are extremely nice people) is that his wines are unique and different from so many other wines that are in my regular rotation.
Indeed they stand out, and are wonderful wines.
G i l b e r t o

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