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Weingut Zimmerle, Cuvée Trio 'Astrum', 2010

If you're a regular follower of this blog (and you better had be) you know that there are several threads or agendas woven into it without much subtlety. One, doomed to failure, is the notion that we could get to understand Burgundy. Another, with better progress, is to bring the use of cheap puns in wine reviews to new lows. A third is that, both of us with roots in the German southwest, we are tirelessly working to see Swabia rise. Not so much rise to world dominance through thrift, Kehrwoche and the manufacture of car parts. That will happen inevitably, without our doing. No, we would see her rise in the world of wine also. And rise she will, as Germany's up-and-coming red wine region.

Quietly pruning their vines to this goal, plotting away, are people like those from the Zimmerle family winery of Württemberg's Remstal subregion, northeast of Stuttgart. Could their three-varietal red wine cuvée be another step forward in the quest?

What Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Mitos (a newly bred varietal) and Merlot certainly accomplish here is to produce a dark-coloured wine with purple edges, and a smell of ripe blackberries in august. No, not mobile devices melting in the sun, but real blackberries, as in a hedge, bramble, thorns and all. A fairly powerful, meaty and ripe wine for the price, with polished plums, dark cherries and also cassis joining the blackberries on the palate. It's a little fruitier and more easy-going, with less of a tannic backbone and acidic grip than I would ideally like to see, but that is just one Swabian speaking - many others will justifiably love this generous and supremely well-made red.

So, not just a wine for those who, like us, want to see Swabia come up in the world, but also for those who still remember a time when a blackberry was just a blackberry.

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