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



Staatsweingut Meersburg, Meersburger Chorherrnhalde, Weißburgunder trocken, 2008

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:

Not bad, eh?

And here's the wine: Nice dark straw colour, bordering on gold. Promising. A nose of ripe honeydew melon with a hint of shortbread and some herbal coolness. Textbook, and even more promising. Ripe melon again on the palate, very good acidity, very lively, pure and concentrated fruit.

A very strong showing, very balanced and quite profound. Well done, state of Baden-Württemberg. And now please stop greedy aristocrats from embezzling your publicly owned heritage and then selling it back to you. Thank you very much.

[*] Like so much in the german political landscape, this goes back to the time after 1803. In the napoleonic shake-up of Europe, the more powerful princes of the Holy Roman Empire thought that breaking up and expropriating the smaller church and monastic fiefdoms was historically overdue (correct) and that taking possession of them for themselves would somehow rebuild the empire (wrong). Wine estates were prized possessions in this scheme, and so passed on to petty kings, electors and grand dukes. When these principalities and kingdoms ended in 1918, the Länder that were their successors held on to these domains.

Oh, shortbread!

That sounds yummy. I don't think I ever had a wine that had shortbread aromas, but I am sure I would like it a lot. And what a building!