Ökonomierat Rebholz, Silvaner trocken, 2009
It is hard to imagine, but there are still people out there who have not heard me saying that I think Silvaner is an underrated wine that deserves more attention. Luckily, German quality producers - not only from Franken, the spiritual home of Silvaner - make this job easy and enjoyable. Today's specimen comes from the Pfalz where Hansjörg Rebholz grows Riesling, the Pinot family (Gris, Blanc, Noir) and a range of other varieties including Silvaner.
The red wines, by the way, have red labels, and the whites green ones - so I felt like photographing this one on the windowsill in the bedroom, to frame it in the greenest way possible. Before we jump into the wine (not literally, at least not in your case, I would assume) a quick comment on the perception of German wine as sweet: the Rebholz Silvaner is trocken, i.e. dry, and it seems Hansjörg Rebholz was serious about dry - less than 1g of residual sugar per litre is pretty much as dry as it gets.
Leaving the statistics behind, I am pleased to report that the Silvaner is utter joy for a wine drinker's nose. Its aromas are interesting, exciting, enticing. Lovely light citrus, a little flowery too, a hint of smokiness and then the fruit. Delicious and elegant pear and apple aromas - not the fresh, green apples of the more acidic type, rather lighter apple with more sweetness, like you get from a fruit flan. And as there were also some cookie dough and wheat aromas wafting from our glasses, memories of fruit cake - in particular apple cake - were suddenly firmly planted in my head.
After all this deliciousness the dryness of the wine makes for notable contrast. Whereas the nose shouts "cake", on the tongue the Silvaner is more for savoury food. It is fresh, with a bit of zing, and tastes of camomile tea and a certain type of herbal candy I enjoyed as a child (it also feels very round on the tongue) - and not to forget lovely apple, this time more of the fresh, green type. It all ends in a mineral citrus peel finish that enhances the overall chunky mineral texture. Not a heavy wine, the Silvaner still has substance.
A great example of a lighter, fresh dry white wine from Germany that delivers a little more than you would expect at this price.
It's amazing how much of a feel you can get from really allowing the scent of a good wine ease you into your first taste.
The use of green label on
The use of green label on white wine and red on red is used as a design here in the Ribera del Duero region as well.
It's unfortunate but I have to admit that I personally hardly ever get the opportunity to sample wines from Germany. Your blog though is inspiring, you have a way with words. In "Green and pleasant land" I loved the reference to Dire Straits. Keep up the good work!
In reply to The use of green label on by Pilar
Thank you for your comments
Thank you for your comments and kind words. I did not know that the green/red labelling is used in the Ribera del Duero. I do drink Spanish wine, but not enough to have a more systematic overview. As far as I know this is not a German or even Pfalz trend though, just something Rebholz does. I like it, though I have heard from others who are not so keen on his labels. Anway, thanks for the compliment - my co-Rambler Julian, who wrote the Dire Strait reference, will be pleased.