Thursday, 6 September 2012

Lämmlin-Schindler from Mauchen

Lämmlin-Schindler joined the VDP, Germany's trade association of elite wine estates, back in 2006. However, I would say that they have remained slightly under the radar compared to their peers in the southern Baden sub-region of Markgräflerland. Banal as it may sound, I would hazard a guess that their secluded geographical location may have contributed to this impression. Although still a stone's throw away from the Rhine valley, their home village of Mauchen is rather hidden away in a bucolic little dale in the foothills of the southern Black Forest. I have cycled through on a number of occasions and can vouch for its idyllic setting. It's the sort of place I can imagine a lot of people would enjoy if they knew about it. Mauchen still has a very quiet, rural character, and that's no bad thing.

The vineyards of Mauchen create an amphitheatre-like setting around the village and, as such, enjoy welcome shelter from westerly, northerly and easterly winds. Pretty good conditions for growing wine in anyone's book.

Weingut Lämmlin-Schindler, Spätburgunder Kabinett trocken 2009, Baden, Germany
The temperatures were touching 30C when I bought this bottle. I wanted red wine but something lighter and easier to enjoy on a balmy summer's evening. At least that was the idea.

Intense ruby turning to purplish or almost pinkish red round the edges. Surprising to find such a hue in what is supposed to be a lighter Pinot Noir. The aromas also belie the wine's "Kabinett" weighting, showing spice and black cherry, Christmas cake and a slightly marzipany note. Everything still feels rather diffuse though. Things change 24 hours later, with more precision emerging. The nose now gives off a distinctly "Mon Chéri" whiff.

On the palate, this translates into a fairly substantial wine for its 12% alcohol. The tannins are quite present, as is the acidity. A day later, the wine tastes somewhat sweeter - in a more confectioned than fruit-driven way.

Frankly, I don't know what to make of it. Maybe the ripeness of the 2009 vintage has played a part, but the wine feels so very dense - and oddly so. What is clear though is that I expected more elegance. On balance, not really my cup of tea.

Having said this, I need to persevere with Lämmlin-Schindler. A white wine of theirs will have to be next on the agenda.

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