Friday, 16 August 2013

Rote Erde

After white and yellow comes red.... (Please click on these links for some previous context.)

Weingut Braun, "Rote · Erde" Riesling trocken 2012, Rheinhessen, Germany
Admittedly, comparison with the previous two Braun Terroirweine is somewhat skewed due to the differing vintages. As you will have noticed, I started with a 2010 (Weisse Erde), moved on to a 2011 (Gelbe Erde) and now have a 2012 in front of me (Rote Erde). Nevertheless, all three wines have their own distinct character. Whereas the white-soil variant showed pungent dry-as-a-bone salinity, the yellow-soil wine was much more overtly exotic albeit with some interesting earthy notes.

Like its two cousins, I bought this bottle in a supermarket. For some unknown reason, this particular specimen was adorned with just one label. The "back" label customarily showing the wine's alcohol content and exact provenance was missing. However, what I already knew was that the red soils on which the vines for this wine grew are situated in and around Nierstein and Nackenheim, i.e. on Rheinhessen's classic steep incline along the banks of the Rhine. This slope is often translated in Germany as the "Rhine front", which is a blatant calque of "Rheinfront" in German but maybe has more war-related connotations in native English.

Anyway, to the matter at hand. Red apple, dry herbs and yeasty, bread-like notes on the nose. In general, this wine has an altogether more herbal feel to it than the other two. Sweet bread and apricot on the attack, followed by the iodine-like hints of fizzy mineral water. In the mouth, the wine feels silky yet light-footed. It certainly flows down smoothly. The finish is pinpoint. On the second day, the fruit recedes almost completely. What is left are merely herbal, mineral-water notes. What alcohol there is is barely noticeable.

This wine clearly shows a sense of place, as do its aforementioned peers. I would maybe place this one above the others on account of its underlying minerally grip that seems to have legs for plenty more years.

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