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February 22, 2011

Fassweinprobe - Barrel Tasting

Winemaker Stefan Giese
 Last night I was invited to my first barrel tasting. An internal tasting, I mean. Not for customers and buyers - just for friends of Weingut Johan Ohler. I feel privileged to have been invited too. In a very relaxed atmosphere, the wine maker Stefan Giese introduced the wines of 2010. Out of the barrels - and tanks, as a matter of fact. Of course, all wines are extremly young at this stage and will do well with a few more months, but this is what I take with me from this evening:

Arnim Jost, Sabine Ohler-Jost,
Stefan Giese
2010 - a difficult year in the Pfalz (and elsewhere), with drastically lower quantities. However, the quality of yesterday's wines is throughout the range very good and I assume those wines will be sold out quickly. If you want to try - you better hurry up. Filling is happening now in March, most of the wines will be available shortly thereafter.

We started with two rosé wines. Easy drinking, fresh and fruity wines, with the one made from Cabernet Sauvignon being my favorite. Strawberry, red current and hints of green capsicum. Summer can come! (I know, the wine world is working hard for us consumers to drink rosé all year round - which of course I could. But. I am self confident enough to keep associating rosé wine with summer. Ha.)

Then came the burgundy varieties:
Blanc de Noir, made of Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir). I don't really know why - but that wine style is just not mine. It is fashionable and popular, but I'll pass.
Then: Weisser Burgunder, Grauburgunder and Chardonnay. All showing the for our region and that age of wine typical aromas. My favorite was the Chardonnay. No oak. No malo. Plain Chardonnay. Tropical with a very nice acidity and without any disturbing sweetness (which I have sometimes found in German Chardonnays) (not that I can say that I have had that very many German Chardonnays yet) (remember? I'm the Riesling girl).

A Sauvignon Blanc was to follow. Which is a little project of Stefan himself and his father-in-law. Nice! The blackcurrant leaves and classical gooseberry, nice and dry with a good acidity. Fits well in row with my previously tasted Sauvignon Blances, two of which I have written about here... 

Riesling. Coming home. From a liter wine to three different vineyards. Just getting better all the time. Liter wines (Gutsweine) are often mixed with mineral water here in the Pfalz, to drink as Schorle (Spritzer). It gets more exciting, moving up to the vineyard wines.
All Rieslings were good - in their different ways. My personal favorites are the Gimmeldinger Mandelgarten, where the vines are 35 years old, which gives this beautiful, elegant minerality that is going so well with the white stone fruit aromas. And the Königsbacher Idig, that has a bit more of flintstone to it, it even showed herbal tones, very nice. All Rieslings were crisp and dry with high acidity - which I like.

The tasting was completed with a red wine from 2009. Spätburgunder that now came out of the barrique. It had all the structure, fruit and secondary aromas, but will now need some time on the bottle. I will buy that one and put it in my new cellar which is to be finished by summer, hopefully.

I love being home again and now getting the chance to meet these enthustiastic winemakers. How every inch of them is into this process. There was a lot of interesting expert-talk about different clones and yeasts, taking out old vines, planting new ones, deciding here and there and everywhere. Again, I got so excited just by hearing about all those many small (and big) steps, the different circumstances that every vintage year brings along, all that is within the chain of pre-vine to wine in glass.

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