Weingut Ziereisen, Steingrüble, 2008
Inspired by Simon Jones' Markgräflerland report, I have opened a bottle of this. If you have read it (and if not - why not?), then I don't need to tell you what the Markgräflerland is, nor what Gutedel means, nor who Ziereisen is. With all that competently taken care of, let's dive right in:
The Steingrüble is, like all Ziereisen wines, marketed as "Tafelwein", the lowest designated quality within German wine law. Annoyed by wine bureaucrats who have repeatedly objected to his wines as "regionally atypical" (atypically good, that is), Hanspeter Ziereisen has simply given them up as a bad job, and good riddance too.
Fermented in oak (though not in barriques), this top of the line Gutedel is straw-coloured, smells of ripe apples and pears, a little yeasty, even a little funky flintstone. It has fairly racy acidity as Gutedel goes, which is mild enough from a Riesling perspective, tastes nutty, creamy, with a hint of spicy oak, and a good dose of salty minerality.
The only thing stopping it on its way to Burgundian complexity is the hollowness of the finish, so much so that I was inclined to believe that, in a momentary reversal of the biblical miracle, wine had turned into water. From my very limited experience, this is not a winemaking flaw, but entirely typical for Gutedel wines. Still - and I'm forcing myself to be extra strict with a producer I'm very fond of - this prevents the wine from being truly great. It remains, however, blazingly original and a joy to drink at just 12%. Get hold of a bottle, if you have a chance!
Burgundian complexity to a momentary reversal of the biblical...
... miracle. A very well put last paragraph, if I may say so. I should add Gutedel on the list of grapes to look out for.
In reply to Burgundian complexity to a momentary reversal of the biblical... by torsten
You shouldn't encourage snobbery and pretentiousness of this kind, Torsten. Although I am very pleased that you're entertained.
In reply to Don't encourage... by Julian
snobbery and pretentiousness of this kind
I think the Wine Rambler exists precisely to encourage snobbery and pretentiousness of this kind, especially when served with a delicious wine!
Ziereisen was kind enough to hand out a demi-bottle of the Steingrüble 2009 when I last bought a few bottles from them (for the first time) - and I had already opened it yesterday. Admittedly I am not much of a Chasselas drinker - last time I had it was about 3 years ago at a wedding. And funnily enough, back then I thought I was drinking water. I wouldn't exactly say that Ziereisen's in the same category, it did partly remind me of my back-then-drink. Pleasant nose of apples, VERY drinkable, not a hollow mid-palate at all, but - as you already stated - with a rather abrupt ending. Like when listening to a good song on the stereo and someone abruptly turns off the music. Which somehow leaves me a tad disappointed. BUT - as a German saying goes - dem geschenkten Gaul schaut man nicht ins Maul.