Clemens Busch

We are especially excited to be working with Clemens and Rita Busch, biodynamic practitioners in the Marienburg vineyards of Pünderich. Clemens is the fifth generation winemaker at this estate (all the previous ones were also named Clemens; ever the iconoclast, he named his son Florian) and he began using organic practices in 1984, more recently transitioning to biodynamics, for which he has become a role model and beacon of change among German winemakers.

Location is crucial to mention here. Pünderich lies essentially at the dividing line between the Middle and Lower Mosel, the wilder and more remote northern section of the Mosel river system. The geology here is unique, based on a volcanic formation hundreds of millions of years old, manifested in a long, undulating cliff face that is nothing short of epic. The three main colors of slate (blue, red and grey) are all found here, dominating different parcels along the slopes across the river from the village. In spite of multiple slate profiles and expositions varying throughout the area, the German government in 1971, in a bureaucratic decision of breathtaking short-sightedness, lumped all these parcels together under one vineyard name, the Marienburg. Furthermore, they expanded what was a 23-hectare geographically coherent site into a 90-hectare politically drawn one, which even includes a series of flat sites on the opposite side of the river! Clemens has devoted his career to rectifying this mistake, identifying the different terroirs of the original hillside on his labels by their historical names: Fahrlay, Falkenlay, Rothenpfad, Felsterrasse, and Raffes. He further delineates his wines by their soil type, using an ingenious method: the color of the capsule on the bottles indicates the type of slate (blue, gray or red) that dominates the source from which each wine comes.

Most of the wines at the Busch estate are vinified dry, and they are rich, complex and often powerful. They age very beautifully, gaining in complexity and texture. However, the sweet and noble sweet wines from the estate are also impressive, ranking among the finest wines made anywhere on the Mosel.

It is important to note there are not a lot of committed "natural" winemakers in Germany in the sense that we know it from France and elsewhere; Busch is considered by many to be THE master interpreter of that philosophy in Germany. In numerous ways, these are some of the most iconoclastic wines we have ever tasted. More information is available on the Clemens Busch website.

 

Image PRODUCT Description Country / Region Region Materials

DB8406-17
Biodynamic
Riesling Trocken
2017
Riesling
8.3g acid and 4-5g RS, all grown in grey slate from multiple parcels in the Marienburg (including the portions that lie across the river,... Read More
Germany Mosel

DB8407-16
Biodynamic
Riesling Vom Grauen Shiefer
2016
Riesling
”From grey slate,” sourced from the same sites that supply Clemens’ GG wines. Stone dust and lemon/lime flavors surge through the nose and... Read More
Germany Mosel

DB8408-16
Biodynamic
Riesling Vom Roten Shiefer
2016
Riesling
”From red slate,” sourced from the same site that supplies Clemens’ GG wine on red slate, namely the Rothenpfad. The red slate works its... Read More
Germany Mosel
DB8794-16
Biodynamic
Riesling (alter-) Native
2016
Riesling
A new cuvée! Previously this all went to Quebec, but we will get some for NY this year. Grown in grey slate on the Marienburg.... Read More
Germany Mosel

DB1033-16
Biodynamic
Riesling Kabinett Marienburg
2016
Riesling
There is much excitement out there about Clemens’ 2016s and this Kabinett is one of many reasons why. Full of deliciously ripe pear and... Read More
Germany Mosel

DB1034-16
Biodynamic
Riesling Spätlese Marienburg
2016
Riesling
Made from riper grapes in several of his grand cru sections. There was no Auslese made in 2016, so this was the sweetest wine Clemens made—... Read More
Germany Mosel

DB0235-16
Biodynamic
Riesling GG Marienburg Fahrlay
2016
Riesling
A Bowler favorite, year after year. Clemens’ only parcel of blue slate on the Marienburg, which imparts luster, florality, sizzling acids... Read More
Germany Mosel

DB8409-15
Biodynamic
Riesling GG Marienburg Falkenlay
2015
Riesling
65-90 year old ungrafted vines planted on grey slate. A dry wine from a site famous for its noble sweets. Firm, vivid, gingery, incredibly... Read More
Germany Mosel