Growers' cooperatives, revisited. When we last mentioned them, we tried to be fair-minded and also point out their good and useful side, but ended up somewhat doubtful that particularly interesting wines could come out of them. Well, that only goes to show that the best of us sometimes have to eat our words, for the good wine growing people of Hagnau, a beautiful place on the Lake Constance shore, may have proved us wrong with a bottle of Pinot Blanc from their Burgstall vineyard.
The deep straw colour is unexpected, but it's the nose, while maybe not Grand Cru material, that does let the associations flow freely: Ripe apple, flowery meadow, nuts, roasted vegetables, pumpkin, roasted pumpkin seeds especially, pistachios, melon slices. My goodness, this wine does smell like what might be my gourmet fellow Rambler's snack selection for a four-episode evening of The West Wing.
On the palate, a round and appealing wine. There is some residual sweetness that may not be absolutely necessary, but which doesn't bloat the wine unduly. So the band of brothers at Hagnau didn't go all crowd-pleasing sellout on us. Good on them so far. The fruit is nicely clear, with a buttery biscuit richness, not endlessly deep, but very typical of the variety. A very good food companion, this says pumpkin soup all over, a combination that, for me, will put an enjoyable Pinot Blanc over the hurdle stamped "great".