Lukas Krauß, Krauße Schwarzer, 2008

Lukas Krauß, Krauße Schwarzer, 2008

Winter evenings, we are constantly reminded, are the time to open the big reds, bring out the big guns, release the heavy hitters. That may be so, but light, elegant reds that do not clobber the food or the taster are always in season.

From Blauer Portugieser (a red grape once common across Germany, Austria and eastern Europe but now declining), and Schwarzriesling (nothing to do with Riesling, but Pinot Meunier, of blanc-de-noirs champagne fame), Lukas Krauß makes this wonderfully bright cherry-coloured wine, named in honour of his grandfather.

Smells of cherries, almonds and rose petals, a downright fragrant wine.
In the mouth, it brings clean, clear cherry and strawberry fruit, clove, aniseed and a little liquorice in the background.

For those who think red wine at all times needs to be so concentrated that it makes you vent steam out of your nostrils: hands off! For the rest, this is my recommendation for elegance, originality and drinking pleasure.

You can have it with a winter salad, like we did. It should also get along well with mild cheeses, having soft tannin, but good structure. Or it could accompany the rest of your Vanillekipferl, Zimtsterne and assorted Christmas biscuits over an afternoon.


Submitted by TheWinesleuth Tuesday, 29/12/2009

I am getting some great exposure to little known, to me anyway, German varietals from your tasting notes. I think my new year's resolution will be to try more of these esoteric wines.

Submitted by Julian Wednesday, 30/12/2009

In reply to by TheWinesleuth

Many thanks, Winesleuth! A very worthy resolution. The regional light red wines of Germany are a very varied bunch, to be completely honest. Some grapes have been forgotten for a reason, after all. But there are gems in there when originality and quality come together. The maker of this wine (who is @lambsheim when twittering, incidently) would certainly like (and deserve!) some interest in the wider world.

Submitted by torsten Sunday, 10/01/2010

Eventually, a bottle of this has made its way to me in London. And what can I say, it is very enjoyable, almost dangerously so considering I am drinking it in the afternoon. I can see why you are recommending it with Christmas biscuits - especially when after a while aromas of vanilla come out. The tannins are just perfect, enough to give it a bit more substance, but not enough to make it too heavy. Shame I have only one bottle here.

Submitted by Julian Thursday, 18/02/2010

We got hold of the last case of this wine that Lukas had, and by god, it's going fast. I now have a crush on the light touch of vanilla that this has, that I somehow failed to pick up in the first bottle. Ever so elegant.

Submitted by torsten Sunday, 02/05/2010

This Friday, we had the Krauße Schwarzer 2008 again, this time with a few international wine friends, including The Winesleuth.

The wine was tasted blind and I specifically asked the audience to be as critical with their comments as possible. This is what they said: 'Cherry cola' (Denise on the bouquet); 'very nice nose'; 'the nose is so charming, you expect a little more from the palate'; 'lovely nose, fragrant'; 'could have a little more concentration on the palate'; 'certainly not an unpleasant drink'; 'light enough to be a rosé'. When I revealed the origin of the wine, everyone was quite surprised to hear that the winemaker was just about twenty years old, and there was even more surprise that Pinot Meunier went into the wine as most of us had only come across it as grape used for sparkling wines.