Wednesday, 23 January 2013


Although often overlooked, vintners' cooperatives are an essential part of the wine-producing fabric of Baden. Privately run wineries might deservedly get all the plaudits, yet the output of your average Winzergenossenschaft is less shabby than you might imagine.

Which takes me to the village of Britzingen - one of Markgräflerland's most picturesque villages and home to one of the region's best cooperatives. Last September I drank the cooperative's flagship Pinot Noir, "Muggardt", at a restaurant in Müllheim. Named after a nearby hamlet where the vineyard is situated, Muggardt is an impressive wine by anyone's standards. Buoyed by this experience, I bought one of the cooperative's cheaper Spätburgunders just before Christmas.

Winzergenossenschaft Britzingen, Britzinger Sonnhole Spätburgunder trocken 2009, Baden, Germany
This wine originated partially from old vines, with a proportion of the grapes pressed with their stems. Unusually, carbonic maceration was the vinification method applied, i.e. the whole grapes were fermented without any pressing. The wine matured for nine months in a wooden vat.

Dark ruby in appearance. Initial blackcurrent and cherry notes on the nose, followed by chocolatey, cocoa aromas along with raisin, coffee and like pencil lead; unnervingly reminiscent of a Bordeaux-esque red. The palate begins with chocolate and cherry again, which continues through to a warm, smooth finish. Despite the carbonic maceration, which normally results in more fruit than tannins, this wine has quite finely grained tannins. I wouldn't say there is much complexity; the emphasis is more on velvet texturing and spice than on Burgundian cherry fruit with a good acidic backbone.

And, yet, it somehow works. The wine is in balance and is eminently enjoyable.

No comments:

Post a Comment