Hild Elbling Trocken 2021
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Press 4 Mix/White • November 2023 Direct Press Selection
The Obermosel, or Upper Mosel, starts at the border with Luxembourg and is planted mostly to Elbling on limestone instead of Riesling on slate. Growers here typically have none of the esteem that their Riesling-focused peers enjoy, and much of the Elbling ends up in bottom shelf grocery store plonk for Eastern Europe. And yet, the Hild family, led by Matthias Hild, has maintained some of the only remaining old terraced vineyards in the area, which is not at all financially reasonable. It is an act of love to preserve the history here of one of the oldest grape varieties in Europe. Their six hectares are an outlier in the Obermosel and are a source of heartwarming hope for any lover of underappreciated grapes and wine culture.
This Elbling is the first I’ve tried, and boy what a reward we receive from small producers focusing on making wines with character. Grassy and lemony on the nose, the flavors in the glass adding orange pith, flint, and tropical hints of melon as the wine opens up. The ever-present acidity will for sure make this wine shine alongside cheese-based dishes and snacks. It is no surprise that Elbling is a parent to both Chardonnay and Riesling, and if the grape meant to bestow its best qualities into its children, it seemingly has achieved that fleeting goal. Demi Elder