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Wwe. Dr. H. Thanisch, Erben Thanisch
There are many wine regions for investors who want to look beyond Bordeaux. France alone has at least 11, Italy has at least two major ones with many other excellent minor regions, and worldwide, opportunities are ripe and rife. But one region that is often overlooked is Germany’s Mosel. We are all familiar with Egon Muller and J.J. Prum by now, but allow us to introduce you to Dr H. Thanisch, and we will change the way you see Riesling for evermore.
Girl power
An historical winery that dates back almost 400 years, Wwe. Dr H. Thanisch is above all a story of strong women. Dr Hugo Thanisch unexpectedly died in 1895, leaving his 30-year old widow (his “witwe”, abbreviated to “wwe”) Katharina, with three small children and an estate to run. However, not one to fail in the face of adversity, Katharina rose to the challenge admirably, and under her tenure, the estate became one of the founding members of the Association of German Quality Wine Producers (VDP) in 1910. The estate has since passed down through 11 generations and today Sofia Thanisch (Katharina and Hugo’s great-granddaughter and 4th female) is at the helm of the 6.5-hectare estate. Sofia’s two daughters look set to continue the tradition.
More Mosel please!
Set in prime Mosel terroir, the Wwe Dr. H. Thanisch’s vineyards run along a straight parcel of land adjacent to the river. The proximity to water, along with the south-facing location and superb soil creates the holy trinity for outstanding Riesling grapes. Thus the wines are defined by their unique characteristics: a delicate taste, sophisticated elegance and lightness. Of the eight Riesling wines produced, the most famous is probably from the great “Bernkasteler Doctor” vineyard. These exquisite wines are highly prized by connoisseurs and wine investors alike for their beauty and complexity, making them some of the most sought-after wines of the entire Mosel-Saar-Ruwer region. However, Doctor wines can sometimes be misconstrued. When tasted in their youth, they can seem a little dull, and many critics believe there is no point in opening one up before at least ten years ageing. The irony here is that with such a low production (4,000 bottles annually) and the requisite cellar time, the wine is getting harder and harder to find.
Notable facts and vintages
  • In 1921, Thanisch made history producing the very first Trockenbeerenauslese on the Mosel. Only made in appropriate years, a bottle such as the 2006 vintage fetching upwards of €660 in 2019.
  • Weinguide Deutschland 2019 named Wwe Dr H Thanisch’s 2017 Bernkasteler Doctor Riesling Spätlese the “Best Riesling Spätlese in the VDP”, awarding 97 points, while Mosel Fine Wines gave this particular vintage 95 points.
  • Due to hail and frost, the 2017 yield was nearly 50% smaller than that of 2016. The combination of higher concentration and lower yields make for a most excellent Bernkasteler Doctor Riesling Auslese. Noting “A great, great Auslese. Drink 2027-2100” John Gilman deemed this particular vintage worth his 96 points.