One of my favourite grape varieties from Württemberg is and remains the Lemberger. This time we drink a bottle of Schnait Altenberg from 2017 from the Knauß winery. Like many wineries in recent weeks, Knauß is located in the Rems valley, more precisely in Strümpfelbach, and will be part of our post-Corona winery tour. In the vineyard, the yield is greatly reduced to achieve a plus in taste in the remaining grapes. Then the wine is aged in wooden barrels and bottled unfiltered. The winery works ecologically and with the 2018 vintage there will be organic certification, the current bottle is still from the conversion. Especially the single-vineyard wines are made with a long life in mind, but as always, curiosity has triumphed over reason and we are already tasting a bottle now, but over three days.
The usual tasting sip then shows directly that we were perhaps a bit too early. Very compact in the nose, rather closed, some cherry, wood and vanilla. In the mouth a lot of resistance, dense tannin everywhere and only in the background you can guess what might be coming. We could have known. The winery itself recommends some bottle maturity and otherwise a carafe should be used when the wine is this young. In the nose leather mixed with wild berries is gradually developing and behind the tannin on the tongue there is a fresh acidity. The fruit becomes more and more intense with air and then the tasting sip is gone.
A night in the bottle (which has been put in the fridge) brings the fruit forward. The wine smells much fresher, there is of course still the wood, but now plum crumble cake and wild berries are joining in. The tannin and acidity, which were still a bit apart immediately after opening, are coming together now, play together more harmoniously and the wine benefits enormously from this. On the tongue less fruit than in the nose, paired with fruit tea, the tannin on the outside and the acidity in the middle of the tongue, so that one wants to have another sip directly. This drinks enormously well, it is pure, it is cool, it is fresh and really elegant. During the evening, air continues to do its thing, the cherry experiences its revival, the tannin becomes better and better integrated and in this mixture of clear, fresh fruit, the tannin and the great, juicy acidity the wine really comes alive, becomes more complex, longer and at the same time more accessible and harmonious. Awesome.
Day three then shows even more where the journey will probably go from here. Pure harmony. The fruit a little bit more polished, very clear, cool, elegant and with lots of berries, plus a tannin perfectly integrated in addition to the acidity, which can also show its bite. Goes well along pizza. Raspberries, sour cherries and a walk in the woods. Great Lemberger!