Saturday, 20 August 2011

Two Sauvignon Blancs

On a recent train journey from Mannheim back to Basel, I picked up a copy of the June/July issue of German-language wine magazine, Weinwelt. Normally, I don't buy wine-related periodals as they tend to be on the pricy side, and much of the information I want can be gleaned perfectly easily via the Internet. I made an exception this one time.

The issue's leading theme was Sauvignon Blanc. Therein, a certain Professor Ulrich Fischer from the "DLR Rheinpfalz" wine research centre in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse explained that elderflower was often a key aromatic trait of Sauvignon Blancs grown in Germany. I mention this apropos of nothing in particular, except that it serves as an introduction to two SBs I've opened over the last month or so.

Pfaffenweiler Weinhaus, Sauvignon Blanc trocken "Sancta Clara" 2010, Baden
Somewhat of a house speciality of this, one of Baden's top cooperatives. I made no notes on this, and the bottle was opened back in July. However, my overriding impression was that of a wine hitting all the right notes as a quintessentially summer wine: sprightly, packed with sunshine yet very grown-up for it's price (under EUR 9 from the supermarket) with some mineral and creamy notes. The wine is already sold-out, which says it all.

Kellerei/Cantina Terlan, Sauvignon Blanc Winkl 2009, Terlano, Südtirol/Alto Adige
This a first: a wine from Südtirol. Winkl is the name of the vineyard. Although not very twinkle-toed in nature, it provided plenty of interest. Quite unlike any SB I've had, its personality almost reminded me of a Grüner Veltliner. There were hints of elderflower and herbs after a while, but the key notes came more from the wine's biscuity earthiness which almost developed into opulence. Certainly a wine that lives more off its secondary aromas and flavours than off gratuitous goosebery and cat's pee. And that's always a good thing in my book.

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