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Details for Andreas Bender, Dajoar Riesling


CountryGermany
Region
AppellationMosel Qualitatswein
Grape
Year2014
Producer
ABV11.5%


Mosel

Pretty much everywhere in Germany is known for its Riesling, but the Mosel’s reputation rests on nothing else. Rieslings from here have a delicacy and purity unmatched elsewhere.
 
This is one of the most northerly wine regions in the world, with bitter winters and merely warm summers - the average daytime temperature in July is 18°C. The vineyards are planted on precipitous south- and southwest-facing slopes above the river to maximise the vines’ exposure to the sun, and to benefit from sunlight reflected from the water. The slopes also protect against spring frosts which could kill the vine buds, by allowing freezing air to drain away down to the river.
 
The dark, porous slate soils help by soaking up the sun during the day and re-radiating it onto the vines at night. They also soak up and drain away any excess rainfall. It’s only this combination of slope, aspect, water and soil that make it possible to ripen Riesling here at all.
 
Less favoured sites are planted with Muller-Thurgau and Elbling, which are much less fussy. Unfortunately, their wine is so much inferior that it has damaged the reputation of Mosel (and German) wine in general, depressing the prices that the wines will fetch. Even the top producers struggle to make money; these vineyards are the steepest in the world and consequently the most expensive to work.


Bender Wine

Born in the small town of Leiwen on the Mosel, Andreas Bender knew from a young age he wanted to make wine. He was taken to work by his father Louis, a vine grafter, and this influence inspired him to make his first wine, aged thirteen, in his family home.
 
He studied oenology at Geisenheim, and worked for different wineries in Germany, France, Italy and America before returning home to Leiwen and starting his own one-man winery in 2008.
 
Still in his mid-thirties, his colleagues refer to him as the Maverick of the Mosel. Instead of making and bottling separate single-vineyard wines from his 10 hectares scattered across 60 plots around the Mosel and Ruwer, he blends them together and makes different styles. “The location is not a brand,” he says, and instead labels his blends with his own brand names.
 
The dry Paulessen and sweet, late-harvest Hofpäsch are named after his family’s 17th century house and farm in Leiwen. Dajoar means “as before” in the local dialect, referring both to its traditional off-dry style and to the resolutely old-school production methods he favours. “I make the wine the way it was made here on the Mosel 50 years ago. As it grows in the vineyard, so it comes to me in the bottle.”
 
He also produces wines from vineyards in the Pfalz. These are mostly red and include a Merlot and, almost uniquely for Germany, a Cabernet Sauvignon as well as the more usual Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir). In years when the Cabernet doesn’t ripen sufficiently he lets it hang on the vine into the winter and makes an eiswein from it!

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