Georg Mosbacher, Ungeheuer, Riesling GG, 2007

Georg Mosbacher, Ungeheuer, Riesling GG, 2007

"This monstrosity tastes monstrously good." - This is what Imperial Chancellor Otto von Bismarck had to say about a wine from the Ungeheuer vineyard. "Ungeheuer" is the German word for "monstrosity", and it is also the name of a famous vineyard in the Pfalz region. It is about time for us to review an Ungeheuer wine, and today we are looking at the premier dry (GG) Riesling from Mosbacher - one of the top Pfalz wineries.

"Premier", "top", "monstrously good" - can the wine stand up to all this praise or were the Wine Rambler and good old Bismarck (posthumously) left disappointed?

Before we answer that question, a few words about the vineyard. First of all the name. You may think that etymology may be needed to explain it, or that the quirky Germans came up with yet another "funny" name for a vineyard to confuse foreigners. And yet neither is true, a bureaucrat is to be blamed, apparently. In 1699 a local town clerk, named Johann Adam Ungeheuer, came up with the name - can you say vain? Good old Johann Adam picked a nice spot, the south-east facing vineyard is on a 30% gradient with the soil dominated by mottled sandstone and volcanic basalt. The soil retains heat very well and the site is protected against frost. Perfect for growing Riesling.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, the 2007 Forster Ungeheuer. The nose is an exciting blend of lots of mineral, citrus and some exotic fruit, kerosene, sweet beeswax and tobacco with oily notes - exciting and complex yet very focussed.

On the tongue a clearly structured, very precise, sharp wine. Lots of stone fruit and the sour elements of Zwetschgendatschi (a German pastry flan cake with damsons) blend in nicely with mineral. The finish is very long, a juicy-smooth-wax-finish ending in a focussed mineral orgy. Terrific, or rather monstrously good. An outstanding example of dry Riesling.


Submitted by Vimpressionniste Friday, 18/02/2011

Hey! My favorite German vineyard!!
After living in the Pfalz for a year and tasting through loads of Riesling, there's just something about the Ungeheuer wines which always stood out for me. Lots of character, a monstrously tight and powerful minerality. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! Even a sweet '08 Auslese from Buhl blew me away with a piercing 17g+ of acidity!!!
Unfortunately, I didn't bring any back with me to France (and impossible to find here) :(

Submitted by Heike Friday, 18/02/2011

One of my favorites too. I love, love, love the Pechstein. Coming in my blog soon... Thanks for writing about this one! The Forster Ungeheuer of von Buhl is not too bad either... ;)


Submitted by Alex Friday, 18/02/2011

Agreed! Great vintage, great vineyard. And they indeed have their distinct flavours, both Ungeheuer and Pechstein. Nice review! Alex

Submitted by torsten Saturday, 19/02/2011

Thank you all for your comments. I really enjoyed this wine, it was almost better than I expected (and I had very high hopes from earlier Mosbacher encounters).

Didier - This was my first Ungeheuer wine (though not my first Mosbacher), and I can see why you are so excited. 17.5g of acidity sounds almost scary though, but if it is an Auslese it should be nicely balanced. Still unusual though. Maybe I should try to find that wine. Have you looked into a German online wine merchant? Shipping to France should not be too expensive.

Heike and Alex - Thanks! I have a von Buhl Pechstein in my wardrobe... Waiting to read your comments on the Pechstein, Heike!