We drink sparkling wine to go with the first real heat this year. We already had a bottle of sparkling wine from Sekthaus Griesel in our glass. Reason enough for us to drink across the range. Whereby this is not quite correct, since a representative of the Prestige line is unfortunately missing on the table due to a lack of bottles in the cellar. Anyway, this time we drink a bottle of Rosé, pressed from Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, from 2016 and a bottle of Riesling Sekt from 2017, the vintage currently sold in the traditional line. In addition, we also drink the current top of the collection, a bottle of Grande Cuvée from 2015, which contains Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. The two bottles from the traditional line are Brut, but according to the bottle, with under 6g residual sugar, they may also be Extra Brut. The Grande Cuvée is filled without additional Dosage Brut Nature and was disgorged in 01/20, so it matured in the bottle for a relatively long time. The sparkling wines from the traditional line have been on the lees for at least 20 months, which is considerably more than Sekt is supposed to. When you consider that Nico Brandner hasn’t been making sparkling wine for that long, that the bottles in the cellar represent tied up capital and that he naturally has to sell something as well, then that’s a remarkably long time. The quantities are not abundant and the bottles are sold out relatively quickly.
We start with the Rosé. Discreet red berries in the nose, fresh acidity and after the first sip then a good load of yeast pastry in the fragrance. Red currants, some citrus. Fine and elegant on the nose, but powerful on the palate and with traction on the tongue. A little fresh apple is added, cassis, a little buttermilk. With air the nose becomes more red-fruity, more currant, some raspberry. However, the sparkling wine never becomes placative or a fruit bomb but remains true to its discreet, elegant start.
You can tell the Riesling from the Riesling Sekt, but it would be bad if you couldn’t. Relatively sparse Riesling fruit on the nose, some mirabelle, some pome fruit. The sparkling wine has the most direct acidity of the three bottles, this may be because it is the youngest, or simply because of the Riesling. The balance is ingenious, the more forceful acidity, more structure on the palate than the other two, perhaps a bit more rustic, with more draught, more power. On the palate a few herbs, some minerality, some grapefruit and a few berries. Drinks itself away just like that.
The Grande Cuvée is most reserved on the nose. Brioche, velvety on the tongue and a really fine perlage. Much finer than the other two sparkling wines, here you can clearly feel the time on the bottle. Very elegant, delicate, complex and becomes increasingly creamy in a fruity way. Here comes yellow apple, some champagne pear, even more brioche. Almost a little bit of sweetness, which comes completely from the extract, as we are close to 0 grams of residual sugar here. Without wanting to doubt the quality of the traditional line sparkling wines, you notice here that you can go a few steps further. The fine bubbles, meanwhile some white chocolate, the brioche note, the fine fruit and the creamy melting on the tongue. That is quite good.
Making champagne is not a short distance run, making champagne is a marathon. And Griesel hasn’t reached the end yet either. This year, a 2013 Riesling sparkling wine will be launched in the autumn and there are certainly plans for more bottlings, which simply need more time in the cellar than has been spent so far. I am looking forward to it and hope to be able to get hold of some bottles.