Weingut am Klotz, Gutedel ‘Löss und Kalk’, 2019, Baden

20210115_201054-1The Reinecker family have been a mainstay of Sekt production in Markgräflerland for a good many years. Apart from turning the base wines of other wineries into fizz (a practice referred to in German as Lohnversektung), they also sell their own house range of sparkling wines. You could say that the Reiningers are, to a certain extent, the ‘Raumlands of Südbaden’. In 2019, the family entered into a still-wine collaboration with the illustrous Kaiserstuhl wine estate Weingut Franz Keller, buying up the Reingerhof wine estate that comprises three hectares at Isteiner Klotz overlooking the village of Istein. Isteiner Klotz is a limestone cliff that used to sit on the banks of the Rhine – until the 19th century, when Johann Gottfried Tulla straightened the river to improve boat navigation. Nowadays, the Rhine is set back from the cliff about 200 to 300 metres away on the other side of the A5 autobahn. This prime, south-facing vineyard land – long forgotten – is one of my favourite spots in all of wine-producing Germany. The location is depicted in my profile picture. (For the record: the vineyard’s official Lagenname is Isteiner Kirchberg.) Apart from Gutedel (Chasselas), the Reineckers and Kellers also grow Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir), Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris), and Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc). They recently took receipt of a small herd of Ouessant sheep that graze in the vineyard and help to give lots of natural goodness back to the soil.

Medium lemon colour. Nose of lemon accompanied by a noticeable whiff of popcorn as well lactic hints (think of a hard cheese like Gruyère). This wine also has a savoury dimension – spiced with cumin notes and a sprinkle of lightly toasted bread crumbs. Beautiful lemon and savoury characters continue on a slightly glazed, textured palate that gradually takes on greater complexity with more air. Strawberry notes also make an appearance. Bone-dry mouthfeel, with juicy acidity and a long finish.

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