Mosel, Germany

Jakob Tennstedt

Waldportier 2020


Waldportier 2020
Mosel, Germany

This is one of the most vibrant, complete Mosel Rieslings we have tried, with two years of rest in a thousand litre cask producing a wine of rare verve and detail. Perhaps the most classically styled of these releases, it impresses with tightrope balance and profound intensity, before a cascade of minerals brings refreshment in spades. Achingly pure, this is as good as it gets.



From dramatic vineyards hidden away in a side valley of the Mosel, Jakob Tennstedt is producing standalone expressions of Riesling.

A native of Berlin, Jakob worked as a chef in some of Germany’s great kitchens before moving to Italy to work in a number of restaurants in the countryside. With a deep love of wine, he ended up working alongside great producers both there and in France before the lure of the Mosel’s potential became too strong.

Jakob has spent the past few years tirelessly restoring just over a hectare of previously abandoned vineyards in the Kautenbachtal, a small valley hidden in the hills above Traben-Trarbach. The vines face south, are between fifty and a hundred years old and planted on their original roots over a complex mix of weathered grey-blue slate and quartzite. Surrounded by forest, they sit almost untouched from the outside world, providing a fitting setting for a young grower very much forging his own path.

Amongst the steepest of slopes, Jakob tends the vines entirely by hand. Working with the utmost respect for nature, he follows biodynamics but chooses not to follow a strict routine, and instead uses his own compost alongside teas made with wild foraged herbs and plants, intuitively, when and where he sees fit.

In the cellar he works with a patience beyond his years. Grapes are pressed gently and slowly, over the course of many hours. The juice is then transferred to large oak barrels and the wines rest on their lees, untouched, for a minimum of eighteen months. Each wine is bottled directly from its cask and nothing is added at any stage.

In the context of Mosel Riesling, Jakob’s wines are sui generis. Displaying incredible depth, clarity and poise, they simply bear all the hallmarks of great wine. Perhaps this is what the very best wines from here tasted like before phylloxera, industrial farming and a heavy hand in the cellar changed their course. We’ll never know, but if this is the future of the Mosel, it certainly looks bright.