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



Philipp Kuhn, Chardonnay trocken, 2009

Posted by Torsten 24 Jun 2012

There have always been two audiences for the Wine Rambler. One audience is, of course, you. A few thousand people come to visit our humble blog every month to follow our adventures in German wine (or laugh at us or disagree with us or end up here by mistake when googling for "Scottish nose", as happened yesterday) and we are very grateful for your interest and support; and laughter too. The other audience, in a somewhat autistic way, that's ourselves. The Wine Rambler was, after all, born when I moved to London and Julian and myself were looking for a way to share our wine adventures across the Channel. On many things we agree, but with the exception of sparkling wine I have always found Julian's enthusiasm for Chardonnay somewhat lacking.

So whenever I review a Chardonnay I mostly think of Julian standing in his Munich wine cellar full of Riesling and Pinot, hoping to give him a gentle encouragement to add some German Chardonnay to the next delivery. Maybe you should too?

After this lengthy introduction let's keep the rest simple. Among the winemakers I discovered during the last few years Philipp Kuhn keeps impressing me with consistently good wine and a great range, especially with regards to red wine. For instance, I still have a Sangiovese blend of his in my wine wardrobe - not quite what you would expect from a German winery. Dry Chardonnay may also not quite be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about German wine, but here it is.

The colour is a straw yellow, going nicely with a fresh bouquet of citrus fruit, ripe pear and a touch of peach, spiced with a flowery sharpness, walnut and aromas of, say my tasting notes, "young twigs". On the tongue the Pfalz Chardonnay shows a good dynamic between fresh sharpness and creamy texture. It starts fresh, really fresh and a little sharp, mellows to a broader, creamy feeling, leaves a long tingle on the middle of your tongue and finally kicks in with a fresh mineral afterburner. I enjoyed the shellfish minerality and the good texture and structure. Perhaps a little too sharp at first it improved with time and was even better with food. Not a revelation perhaps, but a highly enjoyable wine for a reasonable price. Julian, do you hear me?

Re: Julian, do you hear me?

Loud and clear, Torsten my man. To clear my name of any imputation of Chardonnay ignorance, I would point to

http://www.winerambler.net/wine/staatsweingut-meersburg-meersburger-chor...

but at the same time, I confess that this is not nearly enough. There is this one Chardonnay from Bernhard Huber, for instance (insanely high rating in the German Press) that I still quietly berate myself at times for not having bought. And do you happen to remember that rather mysterious aged Chardonnay from St. Urbanshof (!) that I got over eBay and on which we never managed to find any background details? So further encouragement indeed needed. As to your vision of me standing in my wine cellar, it has to be called eerily realistic, since stand up and wedge yourself between the cardboard boxes is now the only thing you can do down there (turn around or even bend down? not so much).


Re: Julian, do you hear me?

Oh, I never spoke of Chardonnay ignorance - but I did detect a faint lack of enthusiasm which I never quite understood. We all do have our likes and dislikes of course but it seems there is something in the Chardonnays you have tried so far that failed to touch you either way. Maybe we can find a wine similar to the fantastic Knipser Chardonnay I had a while ago to get you excited!