Sunday, 16 January 2011


Which in English normally means "party piece", "collector's item" or "one for the crowd". In footballing parlance, it equates to, say, the Brazilian Ronaldinho leaving a defender floundering with a fleet-footed piece of skill. However, the problem is that purveyors of such skill are often ultimately destined to have unfulfilled careers due to their lack of application or general all-round flakiness. Ronaldinho is a case in point. He now plays for Flamengo.

Frankly, I'm not sure what this equates to in wine terms; I originally thought the word might make a good pun for this post. However, what I am sure about is that the following Kabinett is a bit of an odd-ball.

Schlossgut Istein, Isteiner Kirchberg Weissburgunder Kabinett trocken 2009, Baden
There was a time when dry Kabinetts had around 11.5 to 12% alcohol at the very most. This one has a whopping 13.5%. I know many dry Spätlesen that have less alcohol than that. Without guessing the grape sugar levels, I'm pretty sure this must have had something approaching 90 Oechsle, which is definitely Spätlese level. Being a Prädikatswein, chaptalisation would have been prohibited.

So, why has the wine-grower decided to call it a Kabinett?

Whatever the rights and wrongs of such an approach, the wine itself deserves to be judged on its merits. And lo and behold, it's actually quite Kabinett-like in appearance: straw yet almost limpid when held in front of a white background. Green apple and kiwi aromas on the nose, followed by pears, nuts and a prickly minerality/dryness on the palate. No hint of oak, which is no bad thing (maybe the difference then is that the Spätlese version had a lick of wood?). This dryness is a maybe touch unforgiving in that it accentuates the alcoholic heat ever so slightly. Nevertheless, this is as light any wine with 13.5% alcohol is ever going to get, and worthwhile for the experience.


  1. From a punning perspective - and that is a perspective not to be underrated in wine blogging - it's almost a pity that the wine didn't turn out to be awful, because then you could have gone in a "Gruselkabinett" direction...


  2. ...and by the way, if your blog is my favourite place to leave comments, it is not least because I am known here - simply and gratifyingly - as "The Wine".

  3. And thus spake "The Wine". :-)

    I adore puns. Keep them coming, I say!

    Cheers Julian.


  4. This is all because of Blogspot by default forcing you to have your identity verified. I use OpenID, which gives a useless name, whereas Julian uses our Google Mail account - and the system seems to display the first name from the account: [first name] The Wine [second name] Rambler.

    Now I feel I have spoilt the fun...