Rudolf May, Retzstadter Langenberg, Silvaner Spätlese trocken "Wellenkalk", 2008

Rudolf May, Retzstadter Langenberg, Silvaner Spätlese trocken "Wellenkalk", 2008

Silvaner time again. After our Silvaner appreciation campaign last year, we were not planning to keep quiet about it in 2010. But it still needed Lukas Krauß engaging defense of the grape here to put it back on the immediate menu. Based on the river Main north of Würzburg, in classic Silvaner territory, Rudolf May is making his Wine Rambler debut today (he must be so nervous...).

He has named his wines in geological terms, Wellenkalk being a triassic limestone formation. A marketing twist that capitalises on the interest in the concept of terroir, or a genuine sign for soil-driven, mineral-rich Silvaner? Both, it would seem:

Straw-coloured, smelling of fresh apple and pear and a little freshly cut grass, it's clear and focused on the tongue, herbal, stony, but still on the lighter, fresher side.

Fairly light for a Spätlese, but a good and authentic Silvaner nonetheless. We can recommend it. If it failed to really shine, that was due to a less than ideal food pairing: Creamy potato soup with diced and fried bacon, apples and sunchoke. A great soup, make no mistake, but to go with it, we soon realised, we would have needed a more full-bodied, creamier, less youthful wine. Sorry 'bout that, Rudolf!


Submitted by Julian Monday, 22/02/2010

In reply to by Christian G.E…

Thanks Christian, no shortage of interesting Silvaners to try, it seems. What do you make of this Silvaner/Sylvaner spelling business that is now all the rage in Franken and Rheinhessen? Marketing archaism or useful sign of stylistic choice?

Submitted by Sabine Tuesday, 23/02/2010

In reply to by Julian

Michael Teschke's wife is called Sylvia, so that may be the simple reason for the spelling. I was curious and had a look at this sylvaner guy's website (#Prädikatsärsche, #Fallschirmjäger, #Schüttelreime). He's also into Portugieser, so as we liked the Krauße Schwarzer...?

Submitted by torsten Monday, 22/02/2010

I also have a few more of those here, but recently I have been preoccupied with Pinot (Blanc, Noir and Gris). But I will revisit this grape. Glad you enjoyed this one, even if it did not shake your Silvaner world.