If you drink your way through Württemberg, sooner or later you won’t get past Trollinger. Thin, red and cheap juice, from glasses with green handles. We call it Viertele schlotzen around here. Usually blended with Lemberger, which then as Trollinger with Lemberger is not to be missing at any wine festival or other gathering. Often a reason to drink beer. But not only in Württemberg, where Trollinger is the most cultivated grape variety, it is also drunk in South Tyrol. There the grape is bottled under the name Vernatsch. And when it is served there in large stone jugs, fruity, juicy, fresh in the middle of the table and goes wonderfully well with the meal, then you’ll feel like looking for a decent Trollinger in Württemberg too. Today we start this search with the Trollinger Sine from the Aldinger Winery, a Trollinger without destemming, without sulphur, without filtering, without pure yeast and without printer’s ink on the label. Sine from 2018. Also in the glass is the Quod Erat Demonstrandum from the Hirth Winery from 2014. A little more mature and hopefully a first proof that the hope for decent wines from Trollinger was not in vain. For both wines, the yield is reduced in the vineyard to concentrate as much taste as possible on the remaining grapes.
Immediately after pouring the Sine smells like cherry candy with clove, young and fresh. There is some wood and with air comes liquorice. Somehow the smell reminds us of herbal liqueur or cough syrup, depending on the conditioning. There is fruit tea and the cherry remains, but the cherry sweets disappear. Behind all this there is a note of eucalyptus. In the mouth, the wine is beautifully soft and has an intense fruit, paired with tannins out the back. This provides a surprising amount of pleasure.
On the second day, taken out of the fridge too late and therefore too cold for the time being, something musty comes along, damp undergrowth, herbs and then the cherry. On the palate the Trollinger is really fresh, unfortunately the tannin is not so well integrated and now has a texture that I often had in wines with little intervention in the cellar and don’t really like. Somehow rough it stays behind on the back of the tongue. It’s hard to describe and not a taste at all, but the feeling when drinking it, and when it happens in a bottle, it almost always happens after the first night in the fridge. It’s almost as if the tannin were to separate a little from the rest of the wine. Fortunately, the musty note disappears again very quickly, leaving the herbaceous cherry fruit the space it needs. If only the scratchy tannin wasn’t there. So I would have preferred to empty the bottle on the first day, because the wine was beautiful then. Due to that not much was left on the second day anyway, and so the knowledge whether the tannin will catch up again must unfortunately be postponed to a later bottle.
The Trollinger from Hirth starts much more mature in the nose, after all it had 5 years more time. From the glass it smells of blueberry jam, boiled blackberry and forest fruits. The fruit remains clear and clean. You notice wood on the tongue, but it is completely integrated. In the mouth less fruit, the velvety structure is what makes this wine so appealing and after the first sips a hint of smoke is added to the nose. In direct comparison, the wine appears denser and a bit more complex but also less drinkable.
On the second day it smells of a chocolate biscuit base soaked with lots of Black Forest cherry. In the mouth there is red fruit tea and also the cherry. The wine still has a nice freshness and juiciness and is pretty much to the point right now.
Both bottles are surprisingly fun to drink. Sure, they are no monsters of complexity, but the Sine on the first day and the q.e.d especially on the second day are a pleasure. The wines don’t have too much alcohol, enough tension to not be boring, fit with the meal (there was pizza), fit after and certainly before. This is possible on the balcony or in front of the radiator, summer and winter and there was much more substance in the glass than many wine festivals in the Swabian province have lead me to believe is possible so far. I think I need (good) Trollinger more often. And a beaker with a green handle.