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Weingut Ziereisen, Viviser, 2010

Another wine from the Gutedel (=Chasselas) grape? Indeed. The more serious and objective international wine critics may point out that two wines from this rather pedestrian grape are already too much, when there is so much Riesling to talk about. But we talk about whatever we like here on the Wine Rambler, and I happen to have a soft spot for wines from the Markgräflerland, that pleasant stretch of wine country near Germany's southwestern border with Switzerland. I have another soft spot, incidentally, for the Ziereisen winery, that elite/anti-elite rogue/boutique family outfit that arguably makes Baden's most stylish wines, but that's another story.

And I've come to enjoy Gutedel quite a bit, why the hell not. So what are we looking at here?

"Viviser" is the dialect term for Gutedel, and this is Ziereisen's middlebrow Chasselas, neither the cheap bottling for every day, nor the upscale single vineyard version, which we have reviewed in an earlier vintage.

Lighter straw colour. Apples in the nose, pears too, mirabelles, a fine if rather guarded mix of yellow fruit and flintstone minerality. On the palate, soft fruit with fresh acidity, slightly yeasty fruit, not a terrible amount of concentration or depth. All right.

Although I could get into the smell much more than into the taste here, coming from Ziereisen, I confess this underwhelmes me just a little. I actually preferred the slightly livelier version from a little-known family winery I had recently. But, inexplicably, it does put me in the mood of opening the last of the famed 2005 Pinots from Ziereisen sitting in my cellar. Or do I save that for the next Wine Rambler committee meeting? Thus the evening, like this review, ends in confusion and inner turmoil.

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