Dr. Heger, Weißburgunder Auslese trocken, Ihringer Winklerberg, 2002

Dr. Heger, Weißburgunder Auslese trocken, Ihringer Winklerberg, 2002

As far as aged wines go, eight years may not seem seriously old, but Pinot Blanc, especially from Germany, tends to be drunk as a younger wine, light and fresh in style. Having said that, some German wineries also produce more substantial Weißburgunder (German for Pinot Blanc), matured in oak barrels, that can and should age a few years. Dr. Heger is one of those wineries, located in the Kaiserstuhl, the warmest wine growing area in Germany with fantastic volcanic soil.

The dry Auslese from the Winklerberg vineyard is one of those more substantial Pinot Blancs. The colour shows the wine's age, an intense honey coloured gold that promises substance and maturity.

Honey also features in a bouquet that is somewhere between aged and fruity rich. Apart from the honey there is also stone fruit, but overall the impression is more one of age, with baked potato, beeswax and musty aromas (think old wine cellar), plus noticeable spicy and toasty aromas from the oak barrel. Beeswax resurfaces on the tongue in a more serious wine that is smooth but also has a chewy texture. Most notable is a long, really dry finish with bitter fruit, potato peel, flavour of roast wood and a certain smokiness.

A serious and more substantial wine with noticeable oak, the Heger Weißburgunder is still very enjoyable, but it also feels like some of the fruit may have faded away over the past few years, slightly disturbing what I imagine was a well balanced wine. The quality still shows in the impressive finish, but I think I may have opened this one a couple of years too late.


Submitted by Andrew Connor Saturday, 05/03/2011

Presumably this is the wine that they now bottle as Groesses Gewaechs

I suppose a lot of GGs (especially in the south) must be Auslesen by must weight anyway, does it say trocken on the label?

I just put the 07 Heger WB Winklerberg GG on the list at Lutyens, I'm pretty confident it's going to improve with age but I'm hoping it won't be 9 years before I sell it

I don't know if you've tried the WB from Cantina Terlaner in Alto Adige (Italian I know but pretty Germanic in execution) but they age beautifully. I've had some examples from the 70s that are still singing

Submitted by torsten Saturday, 05/03/2011

In reply to by Andrew Connor

As far as I know the 2007 GG Weißburgunder has 13.5% ABV, exactly as much as my Auslese, so I would assume that it is, in that sense, the same wine. Technically, to be carry the GG label a wine has to be at least of Spätlese quality though. With your assessment of the 2007 you agree with at least one of the leading German wine guides who suggested to give the wine a little time, and that I would mature well until 2014+. From my own experience, this particular guide does seem to sometimes underestimate how long certain wines can be stored - and I say this as someone who has to keep most of his wines in a wardrobe (in a relatively cool room though).

I haven't had that many Alto Adige wines, but the ones I have tried so far I really liked. Fascinating to hear that their WB can make it well over several decades, so thanks for sharing that, Andrew!