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

Staatsweingut Meersburg, Meersburger Chorherrnhalde, Chardonnay ***, 2008

Posted by Julian 18 Nov 2011

Said Mr. Munich Wine Rambler to a bottle of Lake Constance Chardonnay: "There's nuthin' in this town 's been a surprise, 'cept for you". Oh no, wait, that wasn't me, that was Kevin Costner, the romantic free-grazing, sharp-shooting cowboy in "Open Range", to Annette Bening. But that was exactly my sentiment when I took the first sniff of this 08 offering, my last bottle (for the time being) from the Staatsweingut Meersburg.

After a long, joyless day, any glass of wine would have cheered me up, and I wasn't expecting anything special, really. A white that would work with the nice pumpkin soup set before me, not too acidic, not too thin, with some smooth buttery notes (yes, it had indeed been that kind of day). But as it happens, this eloquent, outstandingly matured Chardonnay surprised and charmed me far beyond my modest designs:

Lovely dark straw colour, bordering on gold. A haunting nose of flowers, some of them withering, very ripe mirabelle (yellow plum) and baked banana. Intense, but still fresh on the palate, herbal, a lot of hay, mellowed apple, baked pumpkin and some candied fruit. With a light touch and a sense of confident maturity, this all comes together.

Lake Constance view from Staatsweingut MeersburgLake Constance view from Staatsweingut Meersburg

A marvellous wine, that, even for a sceptic of the grape such as myself, demonstrates all that can be charming and satisfying in an unoaked Chardonnay, but also transcends it: I was somewhat reminded of good Loire Chenin Blanc, not least by the ripe apple aspect. Anyway, a great example of what Germany can do outside of the Riesling box - and so very unexpected. Highly recommended.


Sometimes one needs a friendly wine that cheers one up. If on another day you need the opposite experience you should try the entry-level Chablis by Patrick Piuze. I can promise you a chainsaw-massacre for your palate!
Just thinking what would be the right occasion for such a wine.. maybe as a refresher or palate-cleanser. Or if you want to get rid of your date, haha.
Cheers and have a nice weekend!

"chainsaw-massacre for your palate"

This is probably one of the more unusual ways of tempting people to try a wine, Alex. But for me it works.