The Moon in a Glass

It is said that Stradivarius had a preference for it. Old builders too. It is about wood, strong wood, cut when it is as driest and the pors as smallest. The romantic name moon wood comes from the point of cutting, made in the first full moon phase after the new year. The Menger-Krug family has cut moon oak and made barrels for wine from it.

The oak originates from Schwaben in the southwest of Germany and was cut in 2004. After drying, the cooper had to tackle it, but at first he was a bit doubtful. The wood was so hard, however the outcome was great. Four barrels, between 1530 and 3460 litres in size. In 2007 they were delivered and ready for the first vintage.

The grapes for the moon oak wines come from Pfalz and the Menger-Krug estate Motzenbäcker, more precisely the Paradiesgarten vineyard. Each year a Riesling and a Chardonnay are made. The must ferments on the moon oak barrels and then gets a rest of about 10 months on its lees. The label says “In mondeiche gereift”, matured in moon oak.

Marie Menger-Krug and the Motzenbäcker moon oak Chardonnay.
Marie Menger-Krug och Motzenbäcker moon oak Chardonnay.

Marie was at first not keen on the idea to put Riesling on the moon oak, but mother Regina was of a different opinion. She won. They tested. The result was excellent.

“The Riesling is not influenced of the wood as a Chardonnay, it does not get that oak character, ” explains Marie. “On the other hand, the vinification accentuates the pure Riesling character and gives more structure to the wine. No expert can say it has been fermented on barrel.”

Villa im Paradies and moon oak wines from Menger-Krug

2012 Motzenbäcker Chardonnay Spätlese trocken, Deidesheimer Paradiesgarten. In mondeiche gereift.
Delicate, fine fruitieness where apricots are emphasized in nose and on palate. Good body, fine texture and with a light kiss of oak. The Chardonnay character is clear. Very good length.  

2012 Motzenbäcker Riesling Spätlese trocken, Deidesheimer Paradiesgarten. In mondeiche gereift.
Pronounced nose with petroleum, complexity, citrus and a very light vibrating hint of wood. Fresh, with the acidity deliciously integrated. Grows and develops in the glass. Very good length. 

These are wines that speak to you and develop new dialects when resting in the glass. Real signs of quality. Furthermore, typical representatives of each grape, full of character, slender and with straight backs. Beautiful.

The fact that the Menger-Krugs plans to make more moon oak barrels, confirms that they are very happy themselves with the result.

Our time in the paradise, yes at least in the garden of Villa im Paradies, is coming to an end. Before we say good bye to Marie, we pose a last question: in five years, what has happened then, what is the vision? The answer is long, but we like especially one part of it:

“Have fun with the wine! Make straightforward wines. Play around, more extreme in a natural way.”

Thus, joy and a desire for experimentation. An attitude that promise good for the future.

Previously on Lovely Wine Grapes about Marie Menger-Krug and the wines from the Familie Menger-Krug:

Link to Villa im Paradies home page.  

Villa im Paradies-9580


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