Thursday, 29 July 2010

Monastery wine

As we were gently whiling away the time last Sunday in the centre of Landau following our winefest excursions, we chanced upon a place called Cafe Akzent that specialises in organic produce. On detailed inspection, I noticed they had a small selection of wines on offer to buy (all organic, of course). Subsequently, I bought the following wine.

Weingut Kloster Heilsbruck, Cuvée Essence 2007, Pfalz
Kloster Heilsbruck is the site of an old monastery in the town of Edenkoben. The vineyard contained within the walls of the monastery, Klostergarten Heilsbruck, is one of the oldest and most prestigious patches of vineyard land in the area.

Judging by the winery price list, this wine is one of establishment's more "basic" reds. Obviously a blend of something, but of what? Well, from its appearance, I instantly thought of the native Dornfelder as one of its components. Maybe Regent was the other. The colour was an almost opaque, with purply edges. On the first day, the nose was virtually non-existent while the palate hinted at sour cherry and nothing else. Obviously Dornfelder. I dismissed it as a dud. However, the next day it showed up a lot better. Aromas of flour, dark cherry and - just as described in the price list - elderberry. To be honest, I would never have detected elderberry had the price list not nudged me in that direction, but it's funny how previous wine descriptions help you put names to smells...

On the palate, quite spicy and savoury. Great with a barbecue. And I mean this in a good way. A couple of years ago, one of my friends gave me some stick for calling Dornfelder a "barbecue wine", as if there was nothing else the grape was good for. To tell the truth, I'm still of this opinion. It's great with anything meaty and grilled. In fact, I can't think of a better barbecue wine this side of the Barossa Valley. Juicy, uncomplicated, rough n' ready tannins, sometimes a little bit green around the gills...but, at the end of the day, it's the enjoyment that counts.

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