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?
The golden colour of this wine has something greenish to it - and I do not refer to the bottle -, which is quite pretty. The nose is a sophisticated mix of mineral, apple and melon with a light breeze of the sea (think shellfish) and the ever so slightest hint of the blue Nivea hand cream. Seriously, I know that one or two friends are considering to officially declare me insane because Pinot Blanc often reminds me of the blue Nivea hand cream, but I cannot help it. There it is again, hand lotion.
On the tongue the Christmann wine is very well rounded, just a pleasure to drink. Technically, the wine is dry (less than 4g of residual sugar per litre), but it feels very juicy, with more melon and a little peach, pleasantly accompanied by some green vegetable and apple. I still cannot quite make up my mind whether to classify another component of the well balanced flavours as being more on the wooden (don't think heavy oak though, just a very light touch of wood) or nutty side. What I can say though is that the Pinot has just the right level of fine acidity to it. The finish is more on the medium side, velvety with a bit of spice, but again very well balanced and feels just right.
The wine has something of a soft pillow to it, or perhaps a creamy dough- both of a comforting, juicy kind. Its strength is more in being well rounded than very deep, which makes it a really pleasant companion. It also meant that Weißburgunder did not survive for very long after the bottle was opened. But who is to complain?