Thursday, 28 March 2013

Vanilla loess

My sole bottle of this had been slumbering in our cellar for about two years. It was finally opened not too long ago as the perfect accompaniment to Sunday roast chicken.

Weingut Reinhold & Cornelia Schneider, Weißer Burgunder Spätlese trocken *** "C" 2009, Baden, Germany
According to the winery's internal classification system, the "C" stands for a wine that has been grown on loess soils; wines with an "R" in their title are grown on the volcanic soils that set the Kaiserstuhl region apart in Germany. I'm guessing that Cornelia is more of a loess kind of lady, while Reinhold prefers eruptions.

Quite a conventional straw yellow, though bordering more on yellow than straw. My darling wife cried out "Vanilla!" on plunging her nose into the glass. She wasn't wrong. This is nice vanilla; nothing kitchy or overdone - just good, honest natural vanilla that doesn't detract from but complements fruitier notes of melon. In point of fact, the nose reminds me more of a Chardonnay. I should maybe also add that the vanilla is extremely refined - redolent of the venerable oak casks used to mature the wine.

Beautiful on the palate, with a continuation of the melon plus some apricot/peachy hints. Reverberating and minerally through to a long finish. Medium to full-bodied. Quite ample alcohol (14%) - though barely noticeable until we've finished our glasses and realise the level of potency. This is seriously top stuff. The price tag of EUR 15 was laughably good value in this context. And, all the while, the beautiful flavour of finest vanilla is the thread that keeps the narrative together.

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