Sunday, 22 February 2009

Wine rally

Or "Weinrallye", as it's known in these climes.

This is an initiative which was brought to life by Heidelberg vintner Thomas Lippert via his blog. The idea is that each month a designated "host blogger" announces a topic generally related to wine and publishes this on his or her blog. People who wish to participate in the "rally" then have until a certain date to write a piece on their blog devoted to the topic in question. All participants then publish their respective pieces within a given 24-hour window, hence the comparison with a "rally".

This month's wine rally, the 21st such event, is devoted to the mother of them all, Riesling. But not any old Riesling. Bloggers must write pieces about Riesling from any one of Germany's top vineyards. The question of whether a given vineyard is worthy of being considered as belonging to Germany's top echelon of vinous real estate is a subjective matter which will be left to the respective participating author. The one condition though is that any wine covered must have a vineyard name mentioned on its label.

Sunday, 8 February 2009


Lemberger is a varietal I've heard quite a lot about in recent times. In Austria, where is widely grown, it is called Blaufränkisch. Oddly, I remember British wine writer Stuart Pigott drinking a glass of it on air during a chat show called Nachtcafé a couple of years back on Südwest Fernsehen. I know he was drinking Lemberger, because he said so himself. It's funny how certain things stick in your mind, but that particular television appearance - the name Lemberger - certainly did.

I'd always associated Lemberger with the Württemberg region of Germany, about which I would freely admit I know a minimum amount of information. Maybe it was fear of the unknown, or just apathy, but I'd never really felt the urge to acquaint myself with Lemberger - until now, that is.

Weingut Drautz-Able, Lemberger trocken 2007, QbA, Württemberg
Now, I'd heard of the name "Drautz-Able" before, though I'm not sure when and how. I guess it's one of those names which you pick up through "osmosis", so to speak, when reading about Württemberg wine.
Anyway, here are my scribbled notes:
First day: light, very "straight-lined", or - shall we say - gradlinig. Green pepper, veggy, but cheerful enough.
Second day: Nose almost threatens to descend into kitsch. Candied cherry aroma. But quite a bit of charm coming through. I think I "understand" this wine a bit better now. "Drink me!" it's imploring.

Hm, on balance, the jury is still out on Lemberger, but there's enough there to make me want to have another try before too long.