Wednesday, September 19, 2018

German Wines

German wines tend to fall beneath the U.S. wine drinker's radar.  Aside from Riesling, you'd be hard-pressed to find a German grape variety or even a German version of a more familiar grape, on a supermarket shelf.  Specialty wine stores will dig deeper, but depending on their inventory they may not have a very wide coverage.  With this in mind I was thrilled to be asked to participate in an online tasting event involving German wines, with Matthew Kaner, wine director and partner at several wine bars in the Los Angeles area.

Borell-Diehl Müller Thurgau Trocken 2017

The importer says Annette Borell and Thomas Diehl married and combined their families' three wineries into one, creating Weingut Borell-Diehl.  The various vineyards reportedly have such varied soil as loess, limestone, red sandstone, with deposits of mineral-laden limestone in some vineyards.

They grow, among other's, the Müller-Thurgau grape .  The variety was created in Switzerland in the 19th century as an early-ripening grape that could better withstand cold winters.  It is not very common in the U.S., but is reportedly the most widely-grown grape in Germany.  Borell-Diehl's grapes are sustainably dry-farmed near Hainfeld in the Pfalz region, with no herbicides or pesticides used.  Their Müller-Thurgau hits a reasonable 12% abv and comes in a one-liter bottle, containing an extra glass of wine for the $12 price. 

The wine has a golden tint to it, although pale.  The nose is beautiful, with apples and citrus at the forefront and minerals taking a back seat.  Those minerals come in more forcefully on the palate, which is to be expected of a cool climate white grown in limestone soil.  The lemon-lime flavor and the brisk acidity are quite refreshing.