Dr. H. Thanisch Mosel Masterpieces

November 11, 2021

Weingut Wwe. Dr. H. Thanisch Erben Thanisch is a classic German Riesling producer. Without being hyperbolic they have garnered as many awards as their name has syllables. Named after the widow (wwe being the German abbreviation) who inherited the estate in the 19th century, Thanisch has been producing wine since 1636. As one of Germany’s most exceptional producers, Thanisch was one of the first estates invited to join the VDP Consortium in 1910, has continued to pursue excellence ever since.

Thanisch holds the crown for highest price ever fetched at auction for a German producer thanks to working entirely with old vines and some of the most lauded vineyards in the Mosel. The wine in question? A bottle of 1921 Berncastler Doctor Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese that had been secretly hidden in their underground cellar for decades. It was sold in 1986 for over $16,000.

When one thinks of extreme vineyards, most point to the Northern Rhône, Liguria, or the Canary islands. But the verdant slopes of the Mosel hide some of the most dangerous and challenging sites in the world. Any slope over 30 degrees makes mechanized assistance nearly impossible, further exacerbating backbreaking work for farmhands.

If that wasn’t difficult enough, the various types of slate found in the Mosel become dangerously slippery when wet, oftentimes requiring safety winches and harnesses for laborers. About half of the estate vineyards farmed by Thanisch have aspects of 60 degrees or more, offering mind-bending views of the village of Bernkastel and the Mosel River. And the resulting wines are absolute marvels across the board.

Germany’s 2019 vintage is expected to be an instant classic, having already been hailed as “Germany’s Breakout Vintage” by British critic Jancis Robinson. While Robert Parker of the Wine Advocate has declared that the 2019s “are worth cellaring for decades”. Thanks to almost perfect weather conditions, 2019 yielded marvels across the Prädikat spectrum, and Thanisch’s are unsurprisingly some of the finest. Don’t count out the 2018 or 2017 vintages however considering the sucess of Bernkastel (The Mosel village where Thanisch hangs her hat). In all three of the vintages the village made some of the finest wines in the whole Mosel River Valley. Wwe Thanisch combines the elegance and minerality of the Mosel with the heft of a warmer vintage.  

Highlights in stock now: 

Wwe Dr. H. Thanisch Erben Thanisch Bernkastel-Kues Alte Reben, Mosel 2019 750ML ($24.95) $21.90 special, 21 bottles in stock now
Mosel Fine Wines 90 points
 “The 2019er Bernkastel-Kues Riesling Alte Reben is a barely off-dry wine (with 12 g/l of residual sugar) made from grapes harvested from 40-year-old vines in the Kueser part of the city. It offers a superbly complex and refreshing nose of anise, pink grapefruit, orange peel, tangerine, mint, lead pencil, and smoke. The wine proves hugely enjoyable thanks its animating presence on the palate and leaves a precise and dry-tasting feel in the long finish. The wine develops more weight and presence with airing, but retains a great sense of grip and playfulness in the animating and beautifully balanced after-taste. Now-2034.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Wwe Dr. H. Thanisch Erben Thanisch Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2016 750ML ($34.95) $24 special, 23 bottles in stock now
David Schildknecht – Vinous 91 points 
“Ripe pear and apple dominate on the nose as well as on a silken, buoyant palate, supported by subtle sweetness. Mouthwatering salinity and transparency to crystalline stony nuances give the long, refreshingly juicy finish a fascinating and delightful sense of shimmer.”
Mosel Fine Wines 90 points “The 2016er Badstube Kabinett was harvested at 88° Oechsle. It offers a delicately ripe nose of pear, earthy spices, slate and smoke. The wine comes to life on the palate as acidity peps up some succulent pear right into the long finish and gives it a gorgeously lively and well-balanced side. The after-taste is elegantly playful. 2026-2041”

This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!

Wwe Dr. H. Thanisch Erben Thanisch Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2017 750ML ($34.95) Was $29, Now $24 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt – Wine Advocate 93 points 
“The 2017 Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Spätlese is still pretty reductive but clear and elegant on the crunchy slate and floral nose. Lush and salty on the pure, refined and elegant palate, this is a concentrated, densely woven and sensual Badstube with the mineral grip and tension of this often underrated Grosse Lage. Tasted from AP 8 18 in March 2019.”
Mosel Fine Wines 91 points “The 2017er Bernkasteler Badstube Spätlese offers a gorgeously ripe and fruity nose of pineapple, candied grapefruit, melon and pear, all wrapped into a touch of aniseed herbs. It displays quite some ripe yellow fruits on the structured and quite intense palate often found in Auslese rather than Spätlese. The finish is driven by zesty acidity and spices, so that the feeling of sweetness is well packed into a racy structure. 2025-2037.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Wwe Dr. H. Thanisch Erben Thanisch Bernkasteler Doctor Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 2017 750ML ($54.95) Was $46, Now $39 special, 31 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt – Wine Advocate 95+ points
 “The coolish, precise and elegant 2017 Berncasteler Doctor Riesling Spätlese (AP 3 18) opens to very fine tropical fruit aromas intermixed with the smoky scents of crushed black rocks. Lush and finessed on the palate, this is a firmly structured, very elegant and persistently mineral Doctor Spätlese whose salty-piquant finish and fine, crystalline structure develops enormous length and tension but also finesse and a highly elaborate style. Highly stimulating. Tasted in March 2019.”
Mosel Fine Wines 93 points “The 2017er Berncasteler Doctor Spätlese offers a ripe nose of yellow peach, orange blossom, apricot, coconut cream, pear and smoke, all wrapped into some toffee. The wine is compact and still on the sweet side and intense on the palate. Riper fruits including apricot, mango and melon kick in and make for a delicately creamy and still rather sweet feel in the finish. This big backward offer will need more than a decade to absorb its sweetness and develop the inherent finesse of Doctor wines. 2032-2057.”

This is the only listing in the USA today!

Wwe Dr. H. Thanisch Erben Thanisch Bernkasteler Doctor Riesling Auslese, Mosel 2019 750ML ($79.95) $69 special, 29 bottles in stock now
Mosel Fine Wines 95 points
 “The 2019er Berncasteler Doctor Riesling Auslese was made from fruit harvested at approx. 100° Oechsle and was fermented down to sweet levels of residual sugar. It offers a hugely restrained, aniseed, and smoky nose of honeyed yellow peach, minty herbs, pear, melon, quince jelly, and vanilla touch. The wine coats the palate with ample juicy and exotic fruits, as well as apricot, black berry, and a hint of smoky raisin. The finish is still on the smooth and creamy side, even if the after-taste more than hints already at the depth, complexity, and freshness to come. Patience will be needed for this beautiful Auslese to come around and deliver all its nuances. But the wait will be more than worth it! 2034-2069.”

Wwe Dr. H. Thanisch Erben Thanisch Bernkasteler Graben Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Mosel 2019 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 special, 24 bottles in stock now
Stephan Reinhardt-Wine Advocate 91+ points
 “The 2019 Bernkasteler Graben Riesling GG is adjacent to Thanisch’s Doctor parcel yet a bit less warm. From 60- to 70-year-old-vines, this is a smoky, intense and elegant Riesling with very fine, precise and crunchy gray slate aromas. Medium-bodied, intense and complex on the palate, this is a tight, long and structured dry Graben Riesling with a refreshing lemon aroma on the concentrated and refreshing finish. This is complex but very promising and currently pretty closed, although the bottle was opened two days earlier. Tasted at the domain in September 2020.”

See the complete list of wines in stock now from Thanisch on our web store.

While you’re there, browse other classic Mosel producers such as Max RichterMerkelbachJJ Prum and more!