TheWineRambler "A German wine label is one of the things life's too short for" - Kingsley Amis



Pinot Blanc

This grape is known as Weißer Burgunder or Weißburgunder in Germany and the Italians call it Pinot Bianco. Weißburgunder wines have a less pronounced bouquet, yet more acidity, than the Grauburgunder (from which it mutated). Dry Weißburgunder is considered a very good food wine and Germans love it with (white) asparagus and fish.
Posted by Julian 03 Apr 2010

Wine produced and sold by the state? No, we're not talking about socialist eastern europe in the 1980s, we are talking the German federal Länder, who, for good historic reasons [*] own and operate large wine estates. Thus, the fine free state of Bavaria has the Staatlicher Hofkeller in Würzburg, the Land of Hessen its Staatsweingüter Kloster Eberbach. But for this time, it's Baden-Württemberg's own winery in Meersburg, Lake Constance, that makes bureaucratic beverages look good. How good? Well, here is the winery headquarters, for starters:

Posted by Torsten 06 Mar 2010

I have written about so many Salwey wines recently, I almost feel bad to pay that much attention to a single producer. Almost, I said, because Salweys know what they are doing and I am in a Pinot (Noir, Blanc, Gris) phase anyway. So I will keep it sweet and short today in order not to repeat myself. Here it is, a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc/Weißburgunder:

Posted by Torsten 19 Feb 2010

I cannot drink, or even think of, this wine without the memories coming back. It was a couple of years ago, and almost summer, and the Wine Rambler committee visited the Mosel. One of our stops was the village of Traben-Trarbach, where we visited the Müllen winery - and we got more than we bargained for. The full story is better to be told over a glass of Riesling, but very generous tasting samples that kept and kept and kept coming are part of it. And stories that kept and kept and kept coming. And there was a bit about a cat. We sampled many Rieslings that day, different styles too, and also a few other varieties. Among them was an impressive Pinot Blanc, a Weißburgunder, and today I opened the last bottle.

Posted by Torsten 09 Feb 2010

You may find a wonderful surprise delivered to your doorstep! I can already say I am going to enjoy this. A lot!

Posted by Torsten 06 Feb 2010

Uncertain what you are looking at here? Somehow strangely attracted yet also confused? Doubtful whether this actually belongs on a wine blog?

If this is what you feel looking at the above picture then welcome to my world of confusion and doubt about a wine of which I am not sure if it should exist at all. What do you do with a wine clocking in at 15% alcohol? How do you feel when you realise it is a white - and from one of the coolest wine regions of a cool wine growing country? Should Mosel winemakers really do this? Should any (white) wine be so strong? Is it actually drinkable? If you want a definitive answer to these questions, please do not read on.

Posted by Torsten 03 Feb 2010

The more Pinot Blanc I drink, the more I appreciate this grape variety. While you will find Pinot Blanc in France and, known as Pinot Bianco, in Italy, Germany is the country that grows more of it than any other: Weißburgunder, as it is known here. The Weißburgunder I am reporting about today was grown in the Pfalz, near the village of Gimmeldingen where the Christmann winery is based. The estate has been owned by the Christmann family for seven generations. It is headed by Steffen Christmann, who also happens to be head of the 'Prädikat Wine Estates', Germany's club of premier estates. In 2004, Christmann changed to organic production and recently even to biodynamic methods. I could not say whether this is the reason for a consistently high quality, but Christmann is certainly doing something right. Now let's have a look at this Pinot Blanc, shall we?

Posted by Torsten 26 Dec 2009

The Wittmann winery recently got a lot of attention from us - and what is not to like? A wine making family with lots of tradition (been in the business since 1663), unafraid to try new things (they went biodynamic five years ago), and, well, more than capable to deliver the thunder to your wine glass. The latest Wittmann in our collection is no exception here, even though it is not entirely without problems.

I opened the bottle of Weißburgunder (Pinot Blanc) because I was looking for a dry wine with a bit of substance to be strong yet delicate enough to go with roast partridge. What I got was almost more than what I bargained for, because this wine is indeed quite strong. [read the full post...]

Posted by Torsten 22 Nov 2009

About once per season the London branch of the Wine Rambler assembles a coalition of willing wine drinkers in London. The mission: to drink some god-damn wine. Mostly German wine. This time, however, we had new rules - every wine was tasted blind, its identity only to be revealed after the judges had come to a verdict. Also new was the excessiveness: between the eight of us (two arrived late, one left early) we opened nine bottles, although not every wine was finished. So let's jump right in, shall we?

Posted by Torsten 14 Nov 2009

Wine tastings are like battlefields, it is everyone for themselves - or so I have heard people say. Actually, at least the recent VdP tasting in Munich was more like playing a part in the submarine movie Das Boot. Periscope out, zoom in on the next lovely wine and then you give the order: 'Both planes zero. Stand by battle stations.' 'Bottle one through four are ready.', the reply is almost instantaneous. However, before you can strike your helpless target, sonar picks up that sound again: Swoosh slurp swoosh schrub slurp. A split second of panic, then you go: 'Close bow caps! Dive!' Luckily, the enemy passes above you and disappears again. 'Is it getting louder?' 'It seems constant. Ahead of us.' The awaits your next move. As the Old Man said in Das Boot: 'Now it gets psychological, friends.'

That it was, but also great fun with some amazing wines, this year's VdP wine tasting in Munich. VdP stands for 'Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter', or Association of German Prädikat Wine Estates, a group of highly decorated German estates, 'the world’s oldest association of top-quality wine estates'. Every year in November some VdP members hold a wine tasting in Munich. And the Wine Rambler attends, hungry for prey.

Posted by Torsten 12 Nov 2009

After having spent quite some time on the Silvaner grape recently, I felt the need to explore Weißburgunder (Pinot Blanc) again, especially as a decent food wine was needed. And as I just heard the the Seeger estate has been accepted into the prestigious club of the VdP (the German association of premier wine estates), it seemed a good idea to open Seeger's basic Pinot Blanc with some food. [read the full post...]

Posted by Julian 01 Oct 2009

The wine rambler could not agree more to the statement from the excellent german WeinPlus online wine guide "Year after year, Bercher impresses us with their completely unpretentious, yet deep and expressive wines".

This mid-range single vineyard Pinot Blanc justifies the praise with effortless precision wine making: Dense straw colour, a nose of caramel, buttered biscuits and melon juice spilled over hot stones. Dense, polished fruit in the mouth, mineral background, good acidity, and above all, a freshness and drinkeability that is not a matter of course, the Kaiserstuhl almost having turned into a hot-climate wine region in recent years. [read the full post...]

Posted by Torsten 17 Aug 2009

Last Friday, the London branch of the Wine Rambler assembled a crack team of wine lovers and socialites from half a dozen countries for a particular mission: take down eight bottles of wine. The team members were selected following the ancient wisdom of Brigadier General Gavin from A Bridge too far: I need a man with very special qualities to lead. He's got to be tough enough to do it and he's got to be experienced enough to do it. Plus one more thing. He's got to be dumb enough to do it... Start getting ready. Gavin knew what he was speaking of, after all he knew the enemy from first hand combat experience; and the enemy was/is German:

Posted by Torsten 17 Aug 2009

The yellow foil combined with the greenish glass of the bottle give this Pinot Blanc a warm and friendly appearance, while the simple label indicates that this wine is part of the entry level range of Molitor wines. [read the full post...]

Posted by Julian 22 Jul 2009

No one in their right mind would open a 14.5 % wine on a hot summer evening, I know, but we had a chicken in a wonderful creamy tarragon sauce to take care of, we needed a heavy hitter, so I took a desperate gamble. It was a crazy plan, but it might just have worked...

In the nose, classic pinot blanc: honeydew melon, salted almonds, biscuit, a hint of dried herbs. In the mouth, think - and I've had time to think, tasting this on the second day - think melon again, artichokes, aloe skin cream. Now coat this mixture in white chocolate with salted pistachio pieces, and you have it - it's a meal, really. [read the full post...]

Posted by Julian 21 Jun 2009

Smells fresh, with appetizing apple and pear fruit, in no way artificial (a pleasant surprise), but not very deep either.
In the mouth, a lean wine with strong, maybe not completely ripe acidity, nicely subdued and unperfumed fruit again, a little grassy, a hint of minerality, and a shortish finish.
Rather atypical for a Pinot Blanc from Baden, where I have come to expect cantaloupe, almond and buttery flavours, this is nothing to get excited about, but a fairly honest, basic fresh white
nonetheless. It will go well with most summery food, and many people used to northern italian whites (e.g. the wine drinking population of Munich) will find this a well-made version of what they know and like. [read the full post...]

Posted by Julian 24 May 2009

Very dark straw colour, a tinge of gold

Smells of peaches and pineapples pickled in petroleum (there's German white wine for you...), marzipan, dried herbs, and smoke. Reminded me somewhat of the more powerful Grüne Veltliners.

Great density and an oily, liqueurish mouth-feel, some maturity (camomile tea, bread), but most of all great smoky minerality. The finish of dried peaches, smoke and salted almonds is long and intense.

Posted by Torsten 16 May 2009

I have been looking forward to opening this bottle for almost a year, ever since I bought it at the winery in June 2008. From the tasting, I remembered that I liked it a lot. And now I like it even more. [read the full post...]