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Historic Mosel TBA acquired by collector

A bottle of wine from the first Trockenbeerenauslese ever produced in the Mosel has been acquired “for a five figure sum” by an anonymous collector.

The bottle of 1921 TBA Bernkasteler Doctor was sourced from Weingut Witwe Dr H Thanisch Erben Müller-Burggraef by UK-based German wine specialist The WineBarn.

The winery was the first in the famed Mosel Valley to produce this intensely sweet style of wine, which are among the rarest and most expensive produced in Germany.

Already an established style in the Rheingau by the early 20th century, producers in the Mosel struggled to achieve the necessary must weight required for such a concentrated style until the Dr Thanisch winery managed to hit 241º Oechsle in 1921 – the highest must weight on record to that time.

This particular bottle has had an interesting history too. Although the 1921 vintage is especially famed, at that point in German history, with the political upheaval in the Weimar Republic and appalling inflation, meant the wines were put to one side rather than offered to the market.

Then came the Second World War and with the passage of armies and military occupation many bottles ‘disappeared’ from eminent cellars across Europe in general but no less in Germany – especially as the Rhineland was occupied by the French.

In the 1960s, however, a former employee of the winery remembered that some special bottles had been bricked up behind a false wall (a common tactic in wineries during the war it appears).

The false wall was located and a number of extremely rare wines including bottles of the 1921 TBA were discovered behind it.

Iris Ellmann, managing director of The WineBarn, said: “I am extremely privileged to have been entrusted with this 99-year-old rarity. We take pride in dealing with the most historic and outstanding producers Germany has to offer.”

The wine has been re-corked, sealed and labelled by the winery in preparation for it leaving the cellars.

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