Friday, 14 May 2010


The village of Duttweiler, home to Weingut Bergdolt, is situated out in the sticks a few miles east of Neustadt an der Weinstraße. As villages go, it's a fairly nondescript place, albeit surrounded by acres and acres of vineyards on land which, apart from a few notable exceptions, is generally as flat as a die. Mandelberg is one of the few sloping parcels of vineyard there that offer south-facing exposition. Not only that, but it has the type of chalky soil pre-destined for wines of a Burgundian persuasion. In this equation, Weingut Bergdolt are - if you'll excuse a mangled metaphor - the jewel in Duttweiler's vinous crown. Their undoubted forte is Weißburgunder.

Weingut Bergdolt, Mandelberg GG 2008, Weißburgunder, Pfalz, 2008
I ordered two bottles of this Großes Gewächs as part of a six-pack that also comprised two bottles of Riesling and two Chardonnays. As the minimum permissible order amount was EUR 80, I was compelled to add this Weißburgunder to get "over the threshold", as it were. What a hardship.

Technically speaking, the vines are situated in a parcel of Mandelberg within the demarcations of neighbouring village of Kirrweiler, which would mean that this wine belongs to the "Südliche Weinstraße" and not the Mittelhaardt region (see the VDP's PDF map). Please don't quote me on this, though.

At such an early stage in the development of a GG, it was only fair that I gave this plenty of airing beforehand. From initial notes of peaches with cream - which is fast turning into "my" signature aroma for Weißburgunder - the fruit withdrew into the background to be replaced by chalk. Lots of it. A powerful palate with an extract-driven density, but also with an innate freshness and vitality. The minerals, plus a mere soupçon of fruit, continue to dominate through to a long finish. A special wine and a glimpse of the best Germany can offer other than Riesling. We finished the bottle by the end of the evening. I think we might hold fire on the second bottle for a few years.

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