Winzerhof Stahl, Müller-Thurgau Herrschaftsberg "Damaszenerstahl", 2009
What the **** is Müller-Thurgau, and is it ever any good, we asked, respectfully, last summer in our in-depth Müller-Thurgau coverage. We did manage to answer the question to our own satisfaction at the time, if maybe not to everybody's, and a young winemaker named Christian Stahl played no small part in that particular journey. Neither the grape nor the man therefore need much of an introduction to our readers.
But there is some unfinished business dating back to that investigation in the form of this bottle of single vineyard Müller-Thurgau. So let's waste no more time:
The Herrschaftsberg smells leafy, earthy and chalky to begin with, but at the same time it's strangely reminiscent of banana, but also, in one of fellow rambler Torsten's enigmatic foodie references, "this rad edible flower from Terrine". Well that's cleared up, then. Vegetal and herbal notes on the palate, a hint of nutmeg and ginger spiciness, mild acidity, but good structure. A well-made, but also very honest wine that thankfully refrains from any fruit-salad aberrations, and instead focuses on its refreshingly earthy and vegetal core.
A great wine for vegetarian dishes or salads, and certainly an original choice for people who want a soil and mineral driven dry white but are touchy on acidity.
Isn't Mueller-Thurgau also often used in sparkling wines?
In reply to Sparkling by Krista
Thanks for your comment, Krista, even though you probably overestimate the expertise to be found here. Müller-Thurgau is very widely planted in Germany, Austria, the Alto Adige region of Italy, Eastern Europe and, not least, England, so I suppose it will be a component of many more basic sparklings as well. I don't think that is its true calling, though. It makes for uncomplicated, but spicy whites when handled properly, and it's probably unreasonable to ask more of it.