Tag Archives: weissburgunder

Marie’s Kellerkinder 2015

Kellerkinder, it sounds so sweet. Marie’s little children, the 2015 wines fresh up from the cellar. You could have suspected them to be a little shy, so newly awekened and hastily brought up in daylight for public display – and taste. Well, perhaps a few of them, a little, on the nose, but overall it seemed like they loved to be on stage; “we are here, come taste us, we are so lovely!”

Villa im Paradies, Familie Menger-Krug, Deidesheim

We, the two winelovers from Sweden, where on the road from Alsace and had actually set the GPS on Landau in southern Pfalz, when we decided to continue a bit further north. To Deidesheim, where we last year met with Marie Menger-Krug. Then it was in the middle of March, cold and still no leaves on trees and bushes. We wanted to see the garden behind Villa im Paradies dressed in green. And we wanted to see Marie again. No appointment made, so just hoping for luck.

Vinothek, Villa im Paradies, Kellerkinder 2015, Menger-Krug

Now we can assure you. Villa im Paradies’ garden is beautiful in green, just as we thought it would be. A relaxing place, so nice just to sit under the big tree, sipping on glass of white.

Vinothek, Villa im Paradies, Kellerkinder 2015, Menger-Krug

Wait, what’s up? We see a long row of wine coolers and bottles on a table outside the vinothek.

We ask if Marie is there. We are lucky, She is.

Marie Menger-Krug

So good to see Marie again, even if it’s just a short meeting. Full of energy and very happy with the new vintage. She has other guests waiting for her, but insists that we must stay and taste all the new wines.

Jahrgangspresentation weekend, she explains, a presentation of the new 2015 vintage. Aha, that explains the line up of wines.  We must have missed the sign outside.

So, we sit down under the huge green parasol and and tuck into the wines. However, Marie, we must admit, not all of them.

 Villa im Paradies, Kellerkinder 2015, Menger-Krug

Beautiful, that is the general impression: young (of course), clean, refreshing acidity, minerality and that so important mouth feel. Boxes ticked off.

We start with the off-dry, lightly aromatic Motzenbäcker-Pfalz Muskateller QbA with nice mouthfeel and length. The Motzenbäcker-Pfalz Sauvignon Blanc QbA trocken is refreshing, green of gooseberries and elderflower and enjoyable palate feel.

Then a real hit! Marie 2015, Motzenbäcker-Pfalz trocken.
We liked Marie’s first vintage of Marie, the 2014, but now the 2015 is superb. A Riesling – Weissburgunder blend, picking up the best of each variety. A chalky minerality, lemon, green pears and a bit spicieness. Dry, well balanced, fills every inch of the palate with delicate, aromatic aromas, fresh integreted acidity and a gorgeous length. Energetic!

Three Weissburgunder follows. The Bechtheimer Rosengarten Spätlese trocken from Rheinhessen becomes our favourite with its deep flavours, fresh young green fruit, pears and lemon and a bit smokey, chalky minerality and superb mouth feel and length. (All three Weissburgunders are dry, but this one has a little bit more residual sugar. Perhaps that seduces us?)

Riesling Alte Reben 2015, Menger-Krug

Outstanding is the Riesling Alte Reben, Ruppersberger Reiterpfad Spätlese trocken, Motzenbäcker-Pfalz. Concentrated rich aromas, almost dry fruitiness with focus on lemon. A bit spicieness. Crispy, high acidity, fresh minerality. Superb on the palate. Want!

But also the other two Rieslings, the Deidesheimer Paradiesgarten Riesling Kabinett trocken and  the Riesling …dem Himmel so nah! Ruppertsberger Reiterpfad Spätlese trocken show very well. Riesling role models with high, integrated acidity, minerality, balance, length and superb mouth feel. Especially the Reiterpfad shows a lovely cotton fabric texture. We would gladly put a number of these in our cellar.

However, we have to be patient and wait. Wait till all the little wines graduate from Menger-Krug’s finishing school and as bottled adults are prepared for a life outside the cosy cellar.

Vinothek, Villa im Paradies, Kellerkinder 2015, Menger-Krug

Suddenly so dark in the garden. The lurking thunderstorm had reached Deidesheim. We moved inside for the last wines. Rain poured down, electricity disappeared and candles lit up the vinothek for us and some other guests without umbrellas.

The clock had passed opening hours since long when we hurriedly walked through the rain. Then we saw the sign. The one we missed a couple of hours earlier: Kellerkinder 2015.

Kellerkinder 2015, Villa im Paradies, Familie Menger-Krug, Deidesheim

Previously on Lovely winegrapes about Marie Menger-Krug and our visit in Deidesheim 2015:

 

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Bone dry Salwey

Driest around Kaiserstuhl they say. Philipp confirms. Thats how it is. Minus 10 degrees Öechsle the latest harvests. Lower alcohol comes as a consequence. The essence lies in the acidity, which in this rather hot area calls for earlier harvests. Or, as sometimes happen, a combination of an early harvest together with a later to optimize flavours and acidity level in the wine.

Weingut Salwey winery in Oberrotweil, Kaiserstuhl

Konrad Salwey was one of three reasons for our trip to Pfalz and Baden early this spring. We met him, together with Monika Dapprich from Siegrist in Pfalz and Robert Schätzle from Schloss Neuweier in the north of Baden, in the impressive line of German VDP producers gathered for the Sommeliers’ Day in Gothenburg in the beginning of the year.

Konrad Salway, Weingut SalwayWith a yearly production of around 300.000 bottles Weingut Salwey is one of the bigger producers around Kaiserstuhl in the South of  Baden. Member in VDP since 1926.  The Salwey family has a history of wine growing in Kaiserstuhl since the middle of the 17th century, but it was in 1950 that the present winery in Oberrotweil was started by Benno Salwey. Konrad is the third generation and took the whelm after his father Wolf-Dietrich’s demise in 2011.

Unfortunately we didn’t get to meet Konrad Salwey again. He was in sick bed, but Philipp Hettich who takes part of the cellar work during harvest, is involved with the blending of the wines and work as a sales representative, welcomed and guided around the winery in Oberrotweil.

Philipp Hettich at Weingut Salwey-58

In the barrel cellar we also got a chat with Sandi Benzarti who came to Salwey 33 years ago. The mechanic from Tunisia who became cellarmaster with responsibility for all the wines in barrel, found in the cellars. And destiller master. Because this place is not just the origin for fine wines, but also for stronger beverages.

However, on this rather chilly day in March, it is the barrels with  Spätburgunder that require attention. The humidity is high in the cellar tunnel, built as late as 1997, but the content of the barrels still evaporate. To the delight of the cellar angels, a yearly total of 1000 liters rise from the barrels. Topping up is needed every week. Each time, a days job.

Sandi Benzarti at Weingut Salwey-0198

Weingut Salwey red wine cellar

Two grape varieties rule at Salwey, counting for around 80% of the production from the 40 hectars, Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) and Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris), half of each. On third place we find the Weissburgundern (Pinot Blanc) with 18% and then only two percent are left for some additional classical German varieties. The grapes for the higher qualities come from vulcanic soil in the west of Kaiserstuhl. The yields are lower here than on the loess terraces on the eastern parts of Kaiserstuhl.

It is almost a liberating feeling, after the first overwhelming experiences of super long wine lists from so many producers, to be able to focus on three grapes in three qualities: the entry level wine, gutswein, then “RS” Reserve Salwey and on the top, the grand cru wines, Grosses Gewächs (GG) from different sites.

Salwey white wine

Salwey’s dry Grauburgunder is a real favourite. Super dry, complex, light and fresh, sailing among the highest summer clouds in the heaven of Grauburgunder/Pinot Gris, that was the summary in the last post.

The samples from the grand cru sites Eichberg and Henkenberg 2013, tasted a week Before bottling, confirmed the impression. Attractive, palate filling and slender Grauburgunders, where some extra nerve in the Eichberg brought it to the favourite position. Philipp thought the 2013 to have great storage potential, even better than the 2012. Would love to go back and fill our car boot.

The Weissburgundern is also very good. Henkenberg GG Weissburgunder 2012 paints with yellow fruits, butteriness and floral notes. Fills the palate beautifully with good acidity, tension and nerve. Delicious from the vulcanic soil topped with loess and calcareous clay.

Salwey white wine

Up to 2007 Salwey’s vinification was traditional with destemming, very clear juice and quick fermentation. But in 2008 Konrad went for new tactics. For all wines, at the same time (no cautious use of smaller test vinifications, oh no, full scale from day one). Today the grapes are destemmed and then left for about 24 hours of maceration. Then slow pressing and no sedimentation or clarification of the must. Fermentation with the natural yeast.  Then to barrel. Battonage or not? Depends on the vintage. And if so, most often only up to the start of the malolactic fermentation, which usually starts by itself. Malo is made on all wines, whites as well as reds.

2003 was the last year Konrad’s father used small barriques for the white wines. It became too powerful. Today larger oak barrels are used. The oldest 40 years, the newest only a few. The wood comes from Kaiserstuhl, but the barrells are made of coopers in Burgundy. All wines get 12 months in barrel.

“In general, Kaiserstuhl is more influenced by Burgundy than Alsace,” emphasized Philipp. The use of oak barrels is one example, the drier wines another, not to forget the admiration of the Burgundy style. And that even though Alsace is just a short distance away, on the other side of the Rhine.

Salwey Spätburgunder wine

We continue with the reds. Philipp explains that the philosophy for the Spätburgunder is to make it fruity and soft with pronounced cold climat character. The entry level Salwey Spätburgunder 2012 from loess is just that light and soft, really dry with appealing strawberries and ruburb in the fruit. The bottle we opened yesterday had developed notes of compost and vegetables. Grape typical, basic quality, easy to drink, for consumption in the near future. Very nice to our grilled Friday burger.

Salwey RS Spätburgunder 2012 has its origin in three grand cru vinyards near Oberrotweil with vulcanic soil; Kirchberg, Henkenberg and Eichberg. 30% new oak. The fruit is darker and the strawberries mixed with morello cherries. The tannins are marked and fine grained. Fine balance, concentration, texture. Structure with backbone. Like!

We jump up to the grand cru level, always matured on new small barriques. First we try the Henkenberg GG Spätburgunder 2012 characterized by Philipp as “entry level GG” with an optimal storage time of five to six years. The nose is complex with oak and fruit, compost and spiciness. On the palate concentrated mature fruit and a big dose of tannins. Very fine balanced and excellent structure. Delicious!

Kirchberg GG Spätburgunder 2012 is “best of the best” and Philipp consider it to win with storage for at least ten years, with potential up to 20. The nose reveals its youth with a lot of red fruit and oak. The tannins are fine grained and the concentration large. The length eternal. Pure, young, exquisite, to hide and forget for many years.

Weingut Salwey

Bone dry Salwey? Yes, it is so, both for whites and reds. Dry and delicious. A visit to the winery in Oberrotweil is recommended for those passing Kaiserstuhl.

Link to Salwey’s website.
Previously about Salwey on Lovely Wine Grapes: Salwey in Grauburgunder Heaven
About our visit to Kaiserstuhl: Kaiserstuhl weekend and Wine route impressions from Pfalz and Baden.

Schloss Neuweier Mauerberg 2013 Weisser Burgunder. Historic walls & exquisite aromas.

Mauerberg, 3 km dry walls, 60% inclination. It is steep, we promise. Both arms and legs were needed to climb from one narrow terrace to another. The location is perfect, south facing and with the thick, high stone walls retaining the warmth at night. Robert’s walls impress, both on site and in glass.

Mauerberg Schloss Neuweier, Baden

We climbed the vineyard some weeks ago, guided by Robert with the surname Schätzle. He is since 2012 the proud owner of Schloss Neuweier and its historic vineyards. The walls of Mauerberg are several hundred years old and now under renovation by careful hands.

Schloss Neuweier, outside Baden-Baden in the north part of Baden, is renowned for its Riesling, but this time we pour an exquisitly aromatic Weisser Burgunder in our glasses. Almost a rarity. Only 4% of the 15 hectar of the castle’s mainly granitic vineyards holds Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc).

2013 is Robert’s second vintage on Schloss Neuweier. He describes the vintage as an challenge, but such a result.

Neuweierer Mauerberg Weisser Burgunder 2013

Schloss Neuweier, Neuweierer Mauerberg, 2013 Weisser Burgunder trocken, VDP Erste Lage 

Delicately aromatic with complexity: a kind of chalky minerality, fragent spring flowers, yellow fruit, apricot, citrus, all spiced by a pinch of dried herbs.
Medium bodied with balanced acidity, delicously palatefilling. Excellent length with complexity.
Lovely harmony. 

Robert’s wines are exquisite and delicate and this Weissburgunder is no exception. Beautifully crafted with character, aromatic and complex. Excellent!

Previously on Lovely Wine Grapes about Schloss Neuweier and Robert Schätzle:
– Schloss Neuweier, History and Charm.

Link to Schloss Neuweier’s webpage.

Neuweierer Mauerberg Weisser Burgunder 2013