Tuesday, 24 August 2010


After a brief and inconclusive encounter with Sven Leiner's wines last month, I decided it was only right to give them another shot.

Weingut Leiner is a biodynamic winery. As you can see on their website video (SWR report), one of their viticultural practices is that of filling cow horns with cow manure and burying them into the soil. According to Wikipedia, this is supposed to channel "new life forces from the cosmos". Whatever your view of biodynamics and its more "fringe" practices, this holistic approach to the soil and nature is compelling. The winery's labels reflect this vocation, with each bottle depicting a different insect that inhabits the local soils and vines, supposedly helping to aerate the earth and maintain a balanced eco-system that, in turn, helps to strengthen the vines' own immune system.

The Leiner wine I tasted last month - the Calvus Mons 2008 - is Sven Leiner's top Riesling. It had a certain wildness about it, but - as you may have read in that particular blog entry - my overall impression wasn't the best. Instead of trying a different Calvus Mons, I decided to go for Leiner's "second wine" instead. As I also wanted to include some wines by Weingut Kranz in the same order, I made my purchase via a third party instead of contacting the winery directly. The Calvus Mons they had on offer was from the notoriously flabby 2003 vintage, so I steered clear of that and went for the Setzer 2007.

Weingut Leiner, Riesling Setzer 2007, Pfalz
Some wines can sometimes be such a pleasant surprise that all you can do is let out a goofy chuckle. This was one such wine.

A gold-yellow hue offering a pot pourri of wild grass and hay on the nose. Coy yet playfully alluring (or verspielt, as they say in German), with ripe stone fruit and lime. The palate of peaches and spicy minerals is just as good. This is Riesling as I like it - offering juicy textures and considerable enjoyment. The acidity and chalky "tannins" are well integrated. If I were marking this wine and advocating a certain amount of pedantry, I would maybe penalise it for its relatively short finish. That, however, would be missing the point. Best Riesling in a long while for sheer pleasure.

1 comment:

  1. A couple of years ago I had a very inconclusive, as you phrase it, Leiner encounter too - so good to hear that there are more interesting wines to explore.

    The Wine Rambler