Saturday, 20 June 2015

Schneider from Weil

They say that familiarity breeds contempt. Now I wouldn't dream that for a minute when it comes to the wines of Claus Schneider from Weil. On the contrary, the quality that this down-to-earth family-run winery situated in Germany's most southwestern town produces is more than a little bit good. It's just that I seem to have gravitated away from them in recent years in favour of other wines from maybe a little further afield; I absolutely love the Rieslings of the Pfalz, for example. And yet, the grass isn't always greener on the other side. Just like I'm falling back in love with Gutedel - which, when grown in the right places, is in my opinion more than a match for, say, Silvaner - I'm also revisiting the wines from Weiler Schlipf - a vineyard I used to live barely a 10-minute walk away from when I first moved to this part of the world back in the year 2000. (I now live a 20-minute bike ride away.)

Weingut Claus Schneider, Weiler Weissburgunder trocken 2013, Baden
Very light beige, almost grey in appearance. Very minerally on the nose. No, seriously ... unadulterated minerals. That's the best descriptor I can find. It's not salty or iodine-like. It's minerally. If I wanted to sound less abstract but more macabre, I could also say that it's what I imagine crushed bones to smell of. The scent is very earthy, but the tones are light, if you know what I mean. This continues on the palate. Little in the way of obvious fruit, but a wine to be judged more on the basis of its elegant structure on the one hand and pure, stark minerally personality on the other. Light to medium body; long, satisfyingly dry finish. Not too dissimilar to a very good Chablis.

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