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.