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In the cold Obermosel Pinot Noir is still not the easiest grape to ripen and this is only the second rosé the Hilds have been able to make in years. This is salty and brisk and fresh. And the label; when I saw the photograph of proprietor Matz’s older sister Rosemarie as a 5-year-old on the label it just broke my heart. In a world of painfully hip wine labels, I am so down for a return to some basic human sentimentality.
The Upper Mosel has nothing to do with Riesling and nothing to do with slate. Instead, we find limestone. The Upper Mosel in fact represents the beginning (or the end?) of the Paris Basin, the geological reality that informs places like Chablis and Sancerre. Instead of Riesling, in the Upper Mosel we find a winemaking culture based on one of Europe’s oldest grapes: Elbling. It’s important to understand that Elbling here feels like something of a religion. It’s a culture, a regional dialect that is spoken through this wine of rigorous purity, of joyous simplicity, of toothsome acidity. The joy of Elbling is the uncompromising vigor and energy, the raucous and super-chalky acidity. Matthias Hild, who farms about six hectares in the sleepy town of Wincheringen, told me that back in the 1980s, when he’d have an Elbling clock in at less than 8.5 grams acid, he’d taste it and question if it was Elbling at all. Which is sort of like saying you’re not sure the music is loud enough because your ears aren’t bleeding. Matthias Hild also farms one-fifteenth of a hectare of terraced vineyards of old-vine Elbling, the oldest of which are in their 70s. The wine these old vines produce is called “Zehnkommanull” (which translates to “10.0”), because these seniors, even in the ripest of vintages, just don’t produce sugar, thus the bone-dry fermented wine is never higher than 10% ABV.
Denny & Katie
Your friendly neighborhood wine shop and tiny bar, focused on small production wines and conservas. Connect with us on Instagram for suggestions on your next bottle and to follow along in our downtown Lafayette wine journey.
Visit us to shop and hang in person or order online for quick and easy pick up.
210 EAST VERMILION STREET LAFAYETTE, LA 70501
Friday & Saturday
Closed Sunday & Monday