Thursday, 19 May 2011


Knipser and Kuhn are established stars in the German wine firmament, but Laumersheim neighbour Mario Zelt is seemingly hot on their heels.

There seems to be something about the Laumersheimer terroir that got lost in history. Certainly, old parcels such as Burgweg (Im Grossen Garten), Steinbuckel or Kirschgarten never used to share the same renown as the choice vineyards of the Mittelhaardt. Apparently, after the Napoleonic wars, the moneyed classes preferred to settle in choice locations such as Deidesheim and Wachenheim at the foot of the vineyard slope. Consequently, these villages are where the posh wine estate mansions were built in the 19th century. Villages situated out in the sticks like Laumersheim suffered in comparison. Laumersheim's best wines were mostly consumed by the village inhabitants and rarely made it further afield. It's only really been the last 20-25 years or so that people have sat up and taken notice.

I met Herr Zelt at Prowein in Düsseldorf in March and was able to taste a fair few of his wines. One of these was his top Saint Laurent - a grape varietal thought to have originated in the Alsace but which is now mostly native to Germany (Pfalz, Rheinhessen) and Austria (particularly Neusiedlersee).

Weingut Zelt, Grosskarlbacher Burgweg Saint Laurent trocken 2008, Pfalz
Dark ruby with a purplish-red rim. Cranberry, "After Eight" chocolate mints, wooden tobacco box, musty library with some vanilla underlay. (Sorry, my imagination was running a little riot while I was scribbling my notes.) Darker berry fruit on what is a fairly chewy palate. Wild flower notes, firm but supple tannins. Some sweet oak extract and a medium finish. The barrel ageing is noticeable and needs time to bed in. Showing good promise though.


  1. Hi Simon....
    a coincidence...I had the 2008 Spätburgunder recently...very good indeed...

  2. Hi Barry,
    Yes, funny - I saw your entry on the Zelt Spätburgunder not long after posting mine. That sounds like a good banker for 2009. The stockist I bought the St Laurent from didn't have the Pinot, but I've earmarked it for the future as I tried it and was impressed by it in Düsseldorf.