Thursday, March 05, 2015

Drunk on Geology - Mönchhop Mosel Slate Riesling

The next up on the Drunk on Geology series is the Mosel Slat Riesling wine from the nchhof winery from the Mosel region of Germany.

The Mosel Slates are comprised of two main slate deposits, Ürziger Würzgarten and Erdener Treppchen

The Ürziger Würzgarten (pictured below) means "The Spice Gardens of Ürzig". These rocks are a very iron-rich Devonian slate mixed with volcanic rocks in the soil. Oxidation of the iron gives the rocks their characteristic red color. 

The Erdener Treppchen means "The Little Staircase of Erden" and consists of a red iron-rich slate as well. The little staircase is because of the steep nature of the valley, stairs needed to be cut into the hillside in order for it to be cultivated.

These slates are part of the Rhenohercynian within the Rhine Mountains of western Germany. The slates formed from a shallow marine shelf environment. These are low grade slates with many of them still containing fossils. Although the principle slates of the region have the distinctive red hue, there are the well known blue slates of the region from which the picture on the bottle was obtained.  

The back of the bottle states:

"The Mönchhof estate was founded in 1177, and today is managed by Robert Eymael. This Mosel Slate Spätlese was selected from the famous Erden Treppchen vineyard. The vineyard consists primarily of grey-blue slate which produces elegant wines with a crisp and refreshing acid structure."

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