Störrlein, Randersacker Sonnenstuhl, Silvaner trocken Großes Gewächs, 2007
Silvaner again? Yes, we're keeping up our coverage. In fact, we mean to grind down any resistance against Germany's second great white grape with the sheer relentlessness of our Silvaner campaign. Great growth Silvaners from lesser known wineries in Franken are arguably some of the best value anywhere in white wine, and we won't stop until every major wine outlet in the english-speaking world carries at least one. Are we not confusing our own partial predilection with an educational mission, you ask, or else: What's in it for me? The two-word answer to this: Food friendliness.
Following up on this month's risotto suggestion, another classic Silvaner pairing is freshwater fish. Franconians love their regional staple, carp, but since that is a little, shall we say, nutritious for most people, we stuck to the more consensual trout.
So your correspondent had to go through his little routine of averting his eyes, pretending to suddenly take a keen interest in the rear corners of the fish shop, while a Munich fishwoman with impressive forearms matter-of-factly clobbered a large trout to sudden death (not for the faint of heart, but oh, so fresh...). Salt and pepper inside and outside the cleaned-out fish, bouquet garni inside, wrap in buttered tinfoil, into the oven, potatoes, a few chives, freshly ground horseradish cautiously applied, and you have a simple german classic.
How did Störrlein's top-of-the line Silvaner from a vineyard close to Würzburg fare with that? More than just respectably: With its light golden colour, its deep smell of pears, hay and flowers, its confident and seductive ripe apple aromatics and, finally, its unexpectedly fruity finish, this should easily win over any friends of white Burgundies or mature Loire Chenin Blancs. In the end, this marvellously powerful and ripe version of the grape proved almost a little bit too rich and creamy for the trout. Maybe we should have gone for the carp after all.
Can I just say that this makes me wish Silvaner were easier to get hold off in London. Seems I may have to order more from the fatherland soon...