Weingut Runkel, St. Laurent, 2007 (updated)
This nicely cherry-coloured St. Laurent (a grape related to pinot noir) smells vaguely of cherries and red berries, and tastes pleasantly of red fruit, with a hint of herbs and earth, very smooth, with no tannins or acidity to speak of.
But all that doesn't matter, because this wine has a residual sweetness that's not only completely unnecessary, but downright destroys the taste. Don't think that I'm buying into the german "trocken"-ideology. There is much room for sweetness in wine, but not, in my humble estimation, in reds like this one: it makes a stale and sticky brew out of what might have been a soft, round, no-regrets little red.
This really is not a bad wine. It's just a sadly misguided one. Everybody has their own palate, for sure. But I just can't imagine who enjoys and demands wines like this, and I think I can rule out the possibility that the winemaker himself thinks this is what it should ideally taste like. I hate to do it, but I think I'll have to tip of the boys from Trockene Schmitts in Franconia about Runkel. I think they need to have a serious chat with him.
UPDATE: Matthias Runkel from the winery tells me that, analytically, the St. Laurent has only 0.4 grams per Litre of residual sugar, which makes it technically as bone-dry as should satisfy even the Trockene Schmitts. I'm a bit embarrassed, and very baffled how a wine that tasted off-puttingly sweet to me is in fact, erm, not. So I take back my verdict about the winemaker's choice, but not my impression of the wine, which was disappointing. If any of our readers have had this, or something similar, please feel free to post your opinion here, as clearly it would be foolish to trust my expertise alone.