For me, the last couple of months were Silvaner and Pinot Blanc (Weißburgunder) time - two of my favourite wines during asparagus season. A Pinot Blanc I was particularly looking forward to comes from Mosbacher, a well respected Pfalz winery. The Mosbacher Weißburgunder SL is made "sur lie", which is French for "on the lees", meaning that the wine spent extra time on the deposits of dead yeast - a process that is meant to result in more depth and substance.
I took the Weißburgunder with me to a four course asparagus menu, hoping it would be versatile enough to go with a range of dishes from asparagus soup to fish with asparagus spears and horseradish hollandaise.
The yeast is not just a technical detail about the wine making, you can really smell it - my first impression was one of wild animal and yeasty vegetable. The smokiness of the Pinot may have contributed to that, but there is also a lot of freshness: citrus fruit, green apple and some melon. And there are lovely creamy, nutty aromas. Even better, they all come together nicely in a bouquet that is fresh but also a little serious and complex, with the yeast fading into the background.
On the tongue the Mosbacher feels well structured, with good texture and a creamy mouth-feel - and enough acidity to keep it sharp and focussed. The wine also has nice, more delicate fruit and smoky, earthy flavours with a bit of vegetable. It all ends in a dry, mineral finish.
A versatile food companion, the Weißburgunder is clearly more than a step up from a simple food wine, and comes at a reasonable price too.