Zimmerle - Berg Viognier 2017

We drink from the Zimmerle winery in Württemberg a bottle of Viognier Berg 2017.

Balance is good even if you don’t have to overdo it like Thanos. This also avoids getting hit by the Avengers. Nevertheless, after the last wines from Baden, today there is wine from Württemberg made by the Zimmerle winery from Korb in the Rems Valley. You may have heard about them last year, when the Zimmerle winery was one of the very few in Germany to harvest ice wine from the 2019 vintage. But we are not drinking ice wine today. We are opening a bottle of Viognier Berg from 2017, which is a grape variety more likely to be found in the Rhône valley than in Germany. The wine is from the line of second wines, one level below the top wines of the winery. The grapes for the wine are spontaneously fermented and aged in used wooden barrels. All vineyards at Zimmerle are farmed organically.

The wine starts darkly spicy and aromatic. Very harmonious aroma that is quite lacking in fruit at the beginning. The little fruit that is there is yellow, ripe and reminiscent of peaches. Behind it hides a note of wood that becomes more intense with air. On the tongue, the wine is salty, spicy and textured with a slight creamy note at the back of the tongue. With even more air, the nose becomes smokier, more ethereal. But at the same time it feels clearer and more elegant on the tongue, retaining the mineral structure and being fairly straightforward.

Overnight, the wood recedes a bit, the fruit comes back stronger. There’s some walnut and the better half smells mate tea. The acidity has picked up and is now quite crisp and powerful. The minerality and structure linger on the tongue quite a while before only creaminess remains. This is already a lot of fun and despite the intensity it is never fat or overbearing in the process. I would like to classify the wine now, say how it compares to typical representatives of the Rhône, what it does differently. But I can not. There’s a gap in my comparative memory and I’m not even sure I’ve ever tasted single-varietal Viognier at all. The variety mostly appeared in white cuvees or as a minimal admixture to Syrah. It is in any case firmly planned to change that. For today, however, it must suffice that I find the wine quite good even without comparison.

The attentive reader will now notice that last week two bottles were tasted, but today only one. A Baden overhang, so to speak, an imbalance in the admittedly not quite seriously taken topic of balance anyway. This was actually planned differently, but nature threw a spanner in the works. The second bottle smelled a lot like sherry and no trace of fruit or great aromatics to be found. The waiting bottle of Goldadler Sauvignon Blanc was not under a screwcap but under a cork. And as much as I like corks, the capsule cutting, the cork pulling, the aesthetics in the bottle and on the photos (screcaps look like crap in them) and the whole feeling around it, I’m sure that we would have drunk two instead of one bottle of wine this time with screw instead of cork.

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