A quartet of excellent German wines from Weinhaus Reh Kendermann
Weinhaus Reh Kendermann Terra Quartär Pinot Noir Pfalz Trocken 2019, 13%, €9.20 until April 2nd (RSP 11.50)
Germany is one of the world’s top producers of Pinot Noir (or Spatburgunder, as they call it there) and the Pfalz (also noted for its Riesling) is one of the top growing areas in Germany. The soil here, from an ancient sub-tropical sea, is now fertile and warm, suits the Pinot well and ensures healthy and ripe grapes.
You can almost guess it’s healthy from the glossy light-red colour. Aromas are moderately intense, red berries and cherries. Fruit flavours impress on the palate with mineral notes in there too. Light and elegant, juicy with balancing acidity, all the way to a smooth finish. Highly Recommended.
The combination between the good water retention and warming properties of this special Löss soil encourages aroma development and gives very elegant wines. The proof is in your glass.
Pairings recommended include Pasta, red meat, white meat.
Terra Quartär translates as Terra Quaternary
By the way, France and the USA are the top two country producers of Pinot Noir. I was somewhat surprised a few years back to hear that Germany was third but even more so to read recently that the fourth top grower is Moldova!
Weinhaus Reh Kendermann Schiefer Steillage Riesling Feinherb Mosel 2020, 11.0%, €8.80 until April 2nd (RSP €11.00)
Germany’s Mosel region is world famous for its steep and stony slopes as well as its slate soil. It also grows some excellent Riesling, perhaps slightly less dry than those of the Rhine vineyard. I learned that when I was a regular caller to the late lamented Joe Karwig who imported so many excellent German wines to Carrigaline.
This one, by the Rev Kendermann company, is typical. Colour is a light straw, very little colour really. Aromas are moderate, ripe white apples, and the slightest hint of diesel (which I rarely get in young European Riesling).
The fruit, citrus and apple again, comes into its own on the fresh palate, which displays also liveliness and minerality. Lemon and lime take the lead towards the finish. Yet it is that residual sweetness that comes through to underline its Mosel heritage and earns it the off dry term (Feinherb) on the label.
A delicious and toothsome wine. Try it on its own or with Asian Cuisine, fish and seafood and white meat dishes. Highly Recommended.
The vines which grow on these steep slate slopes of the Mosel profit from the angle of the sun and the perfect heat storage property of the slate (depicted on the bottle). It absorbs the heat from the day and gives it back to the vines at night. In combination with the cool climate it helps the grapes to ripen.The results are wines with high minerality and a lively character.
We have Trocken on the both Sauvignon Blanc and Point Noir labels meaning dry. Feinherb is mentioned on the label here and this is a popular German term for off-dry. The soils that the three vines grow in are highlighted on the bottles.
Weinhaus Reh Kendermann Kalkstein Sauvignon Blanc Trocken Pfalz 2020, 12.5% €9.20 until April 2nd (RSP 11.50)
Colour of this Sauvignon Blanc from Germany’s cool northerly Pfalz is a light straw, very light. Apple and citrus, also a little pepper, in the aromas. Lively and fresh on the palate, more exotic fruit here too but a balancing acidity helps makes this a zesty and delicious wine. It is dry and food-friendly and quite an impressive German contender in Sauvignon Blanc. Highly Recommended.
Sauvignon Blanc may well be one of the finest and most widely grown white wine varieties in the world but it is fairly unusual to find a German example in Ireland. The grape is just not associated internationally with the country. Just took a look at the often quoted Grapes and Wine and, in a few pages on where the grape grows best, Austria is mentioned but not a word on Germany. Same story in Wine-Searcher.com. And, by the way, this is not a Sancerre imitation nor a Marlborough either. Somewhere in between, this Kalkstein is its own vin.
Kendermann say: The cool and dry climate in combination with the deep and nutrient-rich limestone soils of the Palatinate offer ideal growing conditions for the Sauvignon Blanc grape. The vines can root deeply and hence they are more water stress–resistant. This grape variety which came from France via New Zealand to Germany develops great aromas on these thin porous limestone soils. Therefore, the wine is very aromatic and has exotic notes of mango, passionfruit and citrus fruit.
Recommended pairings are: fish, Asian cuisine, white meats and salads. One of our favourites is Scallops, with rashers (Truly Irish) and Irish Shellfish Butter. That was our recipe, designed to match with the Cono Sur Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, and it got us to the European final of the Cono Sur Blogger competition in Paris in 2014.
Weinhaus Reh Kendermann Kalkstein Pinot Noir Rosé Trocken Pfalz 2019, 12%, Dunnes Stores exclusive - €9.20 until April 2nd (RSP 11.50)
This very very pale Pinot Noir rosé is barely coloured. Light red fruit aromas turn up as pleasant flavours in the mouth, light and fruity and with a crisp mouth-watering acidity. The tip here is not to chill it too much or you lose some of the benefit of the impressive if subtle citrus flavours. Amazing that a wine with such a weak colour can be so refreshing and bursting with flavour right through to a crisp finish. Highly Recommended.
Much of the credit goes to the soil of Kalkstein where the limestone helps the grapes reach full ripeness. Kalkstein is actually the German for limestone. Recommended pairings:
* Winemakers since 1920, family owned Reh Kendermann is Germany’s largest export wine company. As a leading wine exporter, the winery makes German wines popular in the whole world: Black Tower the most successful German wine brand worldwide comes from Reh Kendermann.
**All the above four wines are on offer at Dunnes Stores until April 2nd; check them out here.