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Showing posts with label Silvaner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Silvaner. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Excellent Wines from Franconia in the famous "Flat Bottle"


Horst Sauer Escherndorfer Silvaner Franconia (Germany) 2016, 11.5%, €20.90 Karwig Wine

The vineyard, Escherndorfer, its steep slope open to the south, has been regarded as a special one for centuries, creating wines of a distinctive concentrated fruitiness and great longevity.The producer is a member of the German Premium Wineries and you will see the indicator of this, the initials VDP, on the neck.

The wine, made from the Silvaner grape, in the distinctive Franken Bocksbeutel, is a light straw colour and you’ll note micro-bubbles clinging to the “flattened” bottle. There are intense scents of pear, melon and gooseberry. Aromatic and fruity, with a vivid and refreshing minerality also at play. Not really as “reserved” as the website hints at, as flavours are quite concentrated from early on and the finish is persistent with elegant acidity and that minerality of course. Highly Recommended.

Horst Sauer Escherndorfer Lump Riesling Franconia (Germany) 2016, 12.0%, €23.60 Karwig Wine


Again, the protective south facing slope is a big factor in this attractive trocken (dry), powerful and complex. The producers have no doubt about it: “In these Escherndorfer Lump wines lie our life blood”.

So what do you get from this light straw coloured wine? Firstly, complex aromas of peach and nectarine, apricot and hints of honey. Much the same fruit flavours combine superbly on the rich palate, moderate but effective acidity, intense and well-balanced, minerality too, all the way to the satisfactory dry finalé. Looks well, smells well and tastes well and Very Highly Recommended from the Franconia area. 

Perfect match with spicy and Indian food.

The Bocksbeutel
This bottle shape, according to Wikipedia, is derived from that of field bottles, which were known already in antiquity, and which were manufactured with a flattened shape for practical purposes, for example to keep the bottle from rolling away on uneven ground. 

The Bocksbeutel has been used for wine from Franconia at least since the early 18th century, initially for the wines from the region's most famous vineyard, the Würzburger Stein, and later for other Franconian wines, in particular those of better quality. The city council of Würzburg decided in 1728 that the best wines from the city's own winery, the Bürgerspital, should be filled in Bocksbeutel bottles. 

You probably have seen the same shaped bottle used for Portuguese rosés. Read more about it here  

Friday, January 16, 2015

Well Worth Opening A Bocksbeutel or Two!

Well Worth Opening A Bocksbeutel or Two!

Racy Riesling. Sexy Silvaner.

First thing you notice with these two whites is the shape of the bottle; it looks a lot like a leather pouch or a cowboy’s water canteen. It is known locally in Franken as a bocksbeutel and is used in this German wine region (also known as Franconia in English) to hold their best wines. And quality is more seriously indicated by the VDP in the neck of the bottle. Würzburg is the area’s capital.

The Burgerspital is a charitable trust, founded in 1316,  and “every bottle that its wine estate sells helps promote the trust”, now taking care of some 750 senior citizens. Not too sure about the present but in 1598 the daily allowance was 1.22 litres! Now, I wonder would any of our craft breweries like to start something similar!

Burgerspital Würzburg, Silvaner trocken 2011, Franken (Germany), 13%, €17.70, Karwig Wines

Silvaner (sometime spelt Sylvaner) is grown primarily in Germany and is a component of Liebfraumilch. Don't worry, they handle it rather differently in Franken. This one has subtle but very pleasant aromas. Colour is a very pale gold and you’ll see more than a few stationary bubbles.

On the palate, it is round and spicy, smooth and well balanced with a fine acidity and this delicious wine also finishes well. Quite liked it and Very Highly Recommended. The makers suggest matching it with fish and white meat.

Burgerspital Würzburg, Riesling trocken 2011, Franken (Germany), 12%, €18.10, Karwig Wines

Racy is not a word I've seen associated with Riesling very often but racy and fruity are the two key words in the winery's shop description of this wine. There is nothing delicate here, indeed it is rather muscular for a Riesling, full bodied, with attractive fruit flavours, complex and long on the finish. Impressive.

It is well made for sure and a worthy occupant of the bocksbeutel, the legally protected distinctive bottle, “allegedly shaped like a ram’s testicles”, also a "goat's scrotum", both according to the Finest Wines of Germany (2012, Aurum Press). Maybe that’s where the racy came from. The bottle's neck, like the Silvaner, is stamped VDP. Very Highly Recommended.

Colour is pale gold with hints of green. Aromas are subtle, some floral and citrus traces (no petrol!) evident. They recommend pairing it with light dishes, salads and pasta. We matched it with monkfish (with tomatoes, crème fraîche  and Vermouth) and noodles and it worked out very well indeed.