Michael Teschke, Blauer Sylvaner, 2017, Rheinhessen

Perfumed on the nose. Initial impressions of lilac, quince, fennel and yellow plum. Lychee and pineapple emerge on the second day. Dry, saline and smoky on the palate, with considerable density for a wine with 11.5% abv. Melon and pear notes gradually emerge – almost like a Grauburgunder. Lovely generosity. Exotic notes of lychee again. Bone dry. Some lactic notes, relatively low acidity – medium at the very most, but held together by notable phenolics. Simple but fine.

This entry-level bottling was my first-ever Teschke wine, I am ashamed to say. Michael Teschke’s reputation goes before him as a 21st-century pioneer of Silvaner. (Teschke prefers the international spelling, with a y.) Blauer Silvaner is a less common mutation of the better-known (Grüner) Silvaner. At peak ripeness, the grapes look a bit like Grauburgunder/Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio at the same stage. To be honest, I can only think of a couple of other wineries that grow Blauer Silvaner: Weingut Reinhold & Cornelia Scheider and Weingut Abril, both on the Kaiserstuhl in Baden.

Unfortunately, Michael Teschke recently took the decision to sell nearly all of his vineyard holdings. To paraphrase an open letter that he wrote to one of his main retailers in Germany, it looks like Herr Teschke basically came to the conclusion that the blood, sweat and tears that he had invested in his vocation was simply unsustainable both from a financial and emotional point of view.

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