Friday, 11 February 2011


The castle overlooking the village of Wachenheim has to be one of my favourite places in the Pfalz. From there, you can survey the expanse of vines extending into the valley for about two to three miles beyond, and then further into the fertile plains of the Vorderpfalz and the Kurpfalz with the cities of Mannheim, Heidelberg, Karlsruhe and Ludwigshafen visible on a clear day. (Admittedly, Ludwigshafen isn't the easiest on the eye from closer up.)

From this vantage point, it is also possible to spot the various properties owned by Bürklin-Wolf in and around Wachenheim: an English garden, a croquet lawn, various stately mansions and courtyards, a small theatre... You get the idea.

Bürklin-Wolf dominate Wachenheim like no other property. My memory of them dates back to Easter 1997 when I took my parents there to taste and buy some wines. That's a long time ago now, but the nostaglia lingers.

But now to today's wine:

Weingut Bürklin-Wolf, Wachenheimer Riesling trocken 2009, Pfalz
Bürklin-Wolf adhere to the Burgundian classification system. This Ortswein is the equivalent of a Burgundy Cru Villages.

A whiff of citrus and herbs on an otherwise quite reticent nose. Acidity is this wine's friend. We served it with fish cakes and home-made tartar sauce on the first day, which dulled this effect somewhat. On the second day, the acidity was clearly there, but ripe and appley with a faint herbal tinge. Anything but a fruit extravaganza, this drinks well but has a certain austerity.

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