Jürgen Ellwanger - Hebsacker Lichtenberg Spätburgunder 2013

We drink a bottle of Spätburgunder 2013 from the Hebsacker Lichtenberg vineyard made by the winery Jürgen Ellwanger.

After the two great red wines last week, it is actually only consistent to keep going with that at the start of the Advent season. A good decision, no, a really good decision. More about that later. The Ellwanger family has been making wine for over 500 years, and today’s winery has been in existence since 1949. With about two-thirds of the 26 hectares of vineyards, the focus is on red grape varieties, which is relatively close to the overall split between red and white in Württemberg. Pinot Noir, however, is only in fourth place among the grape varieties cultivated in the wine-growing region and has to admit defeat to Schwarzriesling, Lemberger and, of course, Trollinger in terms of area. However, wines from this grape variety may be bottled by wineries in the VDP Württemberg as Großes Gewächs, and that is exactly what we have in the glass. The grapes for this wine were grown in 2013 in the Hebsacker Lichtenberg, a site in the Rems Valley. After a few years of bottle aging, the cork is now being pulled.

The wine smells spicy, a bit of earth and has a bit of almost black fruit. There is also smoke, leather and Christmas spices. A very soft acidity gives the wine freshness. The tannin has certainly also become very fine through the years on the bottle. A smoky spice lingers on the tongue for a long time at the end. With air the fruit becomes more prominent on the nose, there are now red berries, some raspberry jam and cherries. Complex but at the same time incredibly charming and also quite easy drinkable thanks to the acidity.

Overnight, more spice comes into the nose, the smoky, leathery notes become stronger, the fruit has gone back again. On the tongue you continue to have the freshness, some fruit and now a touch of meaty juice. As on the first day, air brings the fruit forward again, but it doesn’t get quite as berry as the first evening. It goes more in the direction of dark cherries, some marzipan, cinnamon and earth. What this list doesn’t give is how much this just gets me. It all fits together so well and is pretty perfect right now. Nothing is loud or stands out particularly but at the same time this has so much heart and character somehow. I’m sure there are more polished wines or more complex wines or whatnot. But right now this blend of now cherry, domino chocolate treats, cedar and beetroot juice with the acidity, the spice, the length completely grabs me. I repeat myself. Sometimes it just comes together. Here, it does come together. One of my highlights this year.

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