Scherer & Zimmer, Gutedel spontan

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Since leaving Basel at the end of April, my wife and I have been reacclimatising ourselves to everyday UK life. Although we are feeling much more settled five months on, we have no idea what awaits us in the next year or so, let alone the next five years.

Yet whatever happens in the meantime, I can always content myself with ordering the wines from my old hunting ground every so often. A sizeable proportion of my most recent order consisted of Gutedels from Markgräflerland. This was the stand-out bottle:

Felix Scherer & Micha Zimmer, Gutedel ‘spontan’ trocken 2015, Baden
Spontaneously fermented (from the grapes’ own yeasts) in used Burgundian pièces. Bright light yellow with an ever-so-slight reddish hue. Biscuity on the nose, with hints of peanut as well as well-integrated wood. Savoury and yeasty in the mouth. A refreshing lime-like tingle of acidity washes over my palate – unusually so for a Gutedel. Quite concentrated in what is ostensibly a light to medium body. Little fruit to speak of. In my mind’s eye I can visualise crushed dry white stone. The acidity returns to lend elegance on the finish. Made in much the same idiom as Ziereisen’s Steingrüble, I would say. Even the price (12 euros) is quite similar. Like Steingrüble, this represents classic ‘old school’ Gutedel. A very worthwhile handcrafted wine.

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Sven Nieger

More (b20170728_072510one) dry Riesling like this, please.

Sven Nieger, Riesling trocken 2014, Landwein, Baden
Understated straw/light yellow. After decent airing, this smells unerringly of the type of fine lemony salt crust that chefs use to season fish. We’re talking top-quality salt and lemons. It’s a beguiling aroma. Utterly dry on the palate, with heaps of salt as well as lemon, lime, herbs and not a single ounce of fat. The wine’s medium body is at once lithe, steely and electrifying. The acidity is keen but not sharp.

(A slight element of organisational chaos still reigns chez Jones since we moved back to the UK, the upshot of which I have been writing all my wine notes on small pieces of scrap paper. I may have accidently put my scribblings for this wine out with the paper recycling, so these tasting notes are missing something at the end. Suffice to say though that this is exceedingly good for an estate wine.)

Incidentally, Sven Nieger repeatedly fell foul of the tasting panel in Freiburg who are responsible for ensuring that the local wines are ‘typical’ representatives of the Qualitätswein label. They kept rejecting his wines, so he decided to bottle them as Landwein (the equivalent of vin du pays) instead. Earlier this year, he and other colleagues including Hanspeter Ziereisen helped to inaugurate the first-ever Badischer Landweinmarkt in Müllheim.

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