Wittmann, Weißer Burgunder trocken "S", 2007
The Wittmann winery recently got a lot of attention from us - and what is not to like? A wine making family with lots of tradition (been in the business since 1663), unafraid to try new things (they went biodynamic five years ago), and, well, more than capable to deliver the thunder to your wine glass. The latest Wittmann in our collection is no exception here, even though it is not entirely without problems.
I opened the bottle of Weißburgunder (Pinot Blanc) because I was looking for a dry wine with a bit of substance to be strong yet delicate enough to go with roast partridge. What I got was almost more than what I bargained for, because this wine is indeed quite strong.
First of all the colour: a medium yellow, a little shiny, as if faint green rays of light were sent through the wine. The wine takes a little time to open up, so either decant it or drink over a day or two. Leaving the yeast notes behind that you get immediately after opening the bottle, the Wittmann over time presents a delightful nose of stone fruit and melon, lots of herb and some nut and wood, embedded in a little mineral and fresh acidity (of the green apple type). The herb oscillated between a more woodland type, including pine needles, and a fennel-vegetable style, in a somewhat confusing (for those trying to figure out which herb it was) and yet very pleasant way. On the tongue the wine is juicy, especially in the strong finish, but clearly dry and with a bit of an edge. It is very well structured, has clear fruit and a mouth-filling, juicy, herb, spicy finish that lasts, with just the right amount of exposure to wood (the Pinot has seen a small wooden barrel during maturation).
So what's not to like about a wine like this? Well, it has 14% of alcohol, and while the Wittmann at no points tastes alcoholic it has almost too much power. The 14% are clearly as well integrated as they can be, but it is just a little too much for me to rate the wine among very high, despite the really impressive finish. If you like your white wine strong or if you serve food that can take it, by all means, go for it, you will not be disappointed. If like me you prefer less alcohol you will like this wine well enough to be really excited to try the 2008 vintage that has 'only' 13%. If the 13% 2008 is as good as this one here, it will be spectacular.
I'm surprised that German
I'm surprised that German wines can clock in at 14% alc. I suppose there is a lot to learn about German wines other than Riesling! Are these wines available in the UK? I'm not familiar with the weisserburgunder varietal, will have to keep an eye out for it. Thanks for yet another interesting german varietal to read about.
In reply to I'm surprised that German by TheWinesleuth
Weißburgunder = Pinot Blanc
Hey Winesleuth, you may have come across Weißburgunder under the name of Pinot Blanc or Pinot Bianco as both the French and the Italians grow it too, but in small numbers. Germany is, I believe, the country that grows most of it in international comparison - but it makes less than 4% of all wine produced in Germany. Weißburgunder is a mutation of Pinot Noir and in the olden days it was often confused with Chardonnay.
The south west of Germany produces some outstanding Weißburgunder and often with higher levels of alcohol. Having said that, I have a 2006 Weißburgunder here from the Mosel - not really the warmest part of Germany - that has 15% alcohol. Almost scary!
Wittmann wines are not easy to get in the UK; http://www.nickollsandperks.co.uk/ offer the 2007 Weißburgunder, but you need to buy a 12 bottle case. They also have a few other Wittmann wines, but it is a limited selection. Wittmann also make Pinot Noir, among various other grape varietals, such as Scheurebe, but the Pinot Noir I have never seen anywhere in the UK; the same goes for the basic range, for instance the excellent Silvaner.
The tags at the bottom of this posting indicate that you sourced the Wittmann, weißer burgunder "S" 2007 for the price of €11 - 13. As a lover of this exact wine I think this is a bit of a misrepresentation, as I cannot find Wittmann Weißburgunger for less than €25, here in Germany!
In reply to Price Range by Kimberly
Thanks for your comment, Kimberly. You are right that currently it seems "S" retails for around €25. When I saw your comment my first thought was that I had bought this one on a special promotion, but checking my records I see that I have accidentally entered the wrong price range. I did pay €24.99 for this wine. We do usually check prices and the other data on wine carefully, but this one seems to have slipped through - I must have scrolled to the wrong field when entering the data. The error is now corrected, thanks for pointing this out!