Two Excellent German Wines
from Wines on the Green
at the Celtic Whiskey Shop
Never associated Dublin's Celtic Whiskey Shop until a week or two back when I noticed an online "quiz" with bottles of wine for the winners. So I entered and won these two lovely wines from Baden's Fritz Waßmer. Then I looked a little closer at the Celtic website and saw that the full name is Celtic Whiskey Shop & Wines on the Green. And there is a huge selection of wine available there. Well worth looking at!
Fritz Wassmer Weisser Burgunder Baden 2019, 12.5%, €19.00
This German Pinot Blanc is barely coloured, making it easy to spot some micro-bubbles clinging to the glass (it’s not sparkling!). By contrast, the aromatics are quite rich, with citrus prominent. A touch of apple in there as well. Citrus, pear and apple also feature on the rich palate, even a hint of almond there too, before a lip smacking dry finish (the label is marked Trocken).
This lovely well balanced wine is excellent on its own but, boasting that decent acidity, is quite capable of holding its own at the table with the likes of soft cheeses, salads with cream dressings, flaky fish (eg cod) and vegetarian dishes. Serve at 8-10 degrees.
Weisser Burgunder is the German for Pinot Blanc which originated in Burgundy and you’ll also find some excellent examples in Alsace. They grow quite a bit of it in German areas such as Saale-Unstrut and Sachsen and around Baden where our Fritz Wassmer is one of its leading fans. He’s not bad at the Pinot Noir either!
Overall though, despite being grown in many countries, Pinot Blanc is, according to Grapes & Wines, “one of the wine world’s genuine Cinderellas..”. Alsace, where Meyer-Fonné makes the outstanding Vieilles Vignes, is perhaps where you’ll find it more often than elsewhere. Grapes & Wines also hint that the grape may find an English home, particularly in Kent and Sussex where “lovely examples” have already been produced.
Fritz Wassmer Spätburgunder Sommerhalde Bombach 2017, 13%, €63.50
|Big. And beautiful!|
Colour, at first glance, is more or less typical of the Pinot Noir (Spätburgunder) grape: a mid-ruby. When held against the white background, it is even lighter, close to a rose. Aromas are quite intense, red berries and darker bigger fruit like plums and cherries, plus a touch of pepper. The palate is surprisingly bright and light, beautiful almost tart flavours of cherry and cranberry and spice. Intense yet elegant with an amazing harmony (fresh acidity, smooth tannins) all the way to the lengthy finish.
The producers say: Since founding the winery in 1998, Fritz Waßmer has pursued his own wine style: independent, finesse-rich and profound wines. He is passionate about Pinot Noir and his special affinity to Burgundy, the cradle of Pinot Noir, is reflected in his daily work as a winemaker.
The Sommerhalde Bombach is located in the eastern part of the Breisgau region, with a southerly aspect, directly bordering the Black Forest. The wines benefit from the strong sunshine and the nightly cold air currents moving over from the Black Forest. The noticeable day-night difference in temperature promotes a slow ripening of the Pinot grapes with finely balanced harmony and fruit aromas.
Germany, you may be surprised to learn, is the third largest producer of Pinot Noir in the world, with only the USA and France ahead. Source: Grapes and Wine.
This is quite a wine, Very Highly Recommended. It comes in impressive bottle, much heavier than usual, so be careful when filling or topping up your glass. Note also that the dimple in the bottom (also known as the punt or kick-up) is much deeper than usual. There is a perception (and it has some weight behind it) that the bigger the punt, the better the wine. You may read more on the subject in an article on the Curious Wines website here.