Tuesday, 19 January 2016


Schwarzer Herrgott and Am Schwarzen Herrgott are a strange anomaly - two vineyards that go by virtually the same name and sit cheek by jowl, next to each other in the Zellertal, or Zell Valley, but in completely different wine regions. Am Schwarzen Herrgott, situated geographically in Mölsheim in Rheinhessen, has earned fame in recent years on account of the eponymous grand cru Rieslings of Oliver Spanier at Weingut Battenfeld-Spanier. Its bedrock is of pure limestone, as is that of its neighbour with the slightly different name situated in the Pfalz, i.e. Schwarzer Herrgott, which owes its recent prominence to the endeavours of brothers Georg and Stephan Schwedhelm of Weingut Schwedhelm. Riesling is the star performer here, too. But the following wine isn't Riesling - that will have to wait for the time being.

Schwedhelm, Zellertal, Saint Laurent 2013, Pfalz
Very dark garnet/ruby. Fairly expressive on the nose. Dried herbs that become quite pronounced after a while in the glass, along with cherry, dark olives and and hints of dark berry fruit. Leathery notes complete the picture some 48 hours later. A savoury element on the palate - again evoking dark olives. Dark cherry too. As the wine washes around, it leaves behind a thin film on my tongue - a lovely sensation that reminds me of other wines from chalky, limestone soils. Cool in the mouth with keen tannins that lend good structure. Medium-bodied. A surprisingly good wine from the humble Saint Laurent varietal.


  1. Big fan of St Laurent! Also tend to quaff a fair amount of Roter Veltliner.

  2. Interesting - I'd forgotten that St Laurent was prominent in Austria too. Never tried Roter Veltliner but I gather it's more widespread in Austria than Roter Riesling is in Germany!