Ferdinand's Last Stand - More Unearthed Treasure From The Mosel

5/14/14 -

(The Martyr's Chapel in the Neumagener Rosengärtchen vineyard)

It is always a treat to drink the results of the pure, lithe bounty of 2001 in the Mosel. As they age, the structure and crackle that marks the vintage helps the wines to continue to improve remarkably. We have come across two 2001ers from the now defunct Weingut Ferdinand Krebs that represent something more than just good wine from a good vintage: Mr. Krebs’ declining health in 2001 and 2002 sadly prevented him from getting these wines to market despite their superb quality, and — incredibly — they remained in his cellar until December 2013. We were lucky enough to taste them in early March, just a few months after they emerged from the cellar of his recently purchased winery.

Ferdinand Krebs retired in 2004 after over 50 years of making wine in Neumagen-Dhron, one of Germany's oldest winemaking nerve centers. 2,000 years ago the Romans built an outpost here called Noviomagus Treverorum in order to protect shipping at the midpoint between Trier and Koblenz. Evidence of the wine trade’s long-running presence is famously marked by the Neumagener Weinschiff. Adorning the tomb of a wine merchant buried there circa 275 A.D., the Weinschiff is a fantastic stone sculpture of a Roman wine ship that carried barrels down the Mosel.

The vineyard these wines come from from, Neumagener Rosengärtchen, shares the the same slope as nearby Dhroner Hofberg, where A.J. Adam is but one of few who, like Krebs before him, works gray-blue slate soils at very difficult, steep pitches and high altitudes. Since the retirement of Mr. Krebs and his peers, many growers have instead favored easier sites but lesser returns in the depth of the wines. Thus it is all the more meaningful to have these last vestiges of the previous generation left to us by a winemaker with half a century’s experience in the form of his last, great vintage. JK

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