Two Bottles Franz Keller

We drink from the Kaiserstuhl a bottle of Chardonnay and a bottle of Pinot Noir 2019 from the vineyard Oberbergener Bassgeige from the winery Franz Keller.

The Oberbergener Bassgeige definitely has a cool name. It means double bass in english. With enough imagination, it can be traced back to the shape of the site, which, as the name also suggests, is located around Oberbergen in the Kaiserstuhl region of Baden. On more than 250 hectares, the vines stand here in a wide variety of plots on a mixture of loess and volcanic soil. The site is classified by the VDP as Erste Lage and the Franz Keller winery harvests the grapes for the wines from various plots in this site. The wines are the responsibility of Fritz Keller and his son Friedrich Keller. We drink a bottle of Chardonnay and a bottle of Pinot Noir each from 2019. Both wines were matured in wood for about a year. The white wine in a large wooden barrel and the red wine in barrique with a small amount of new wood. Both wines are fully fermented with almost no residual sugar.

We start with the Chardonnay. It smells of fresh, sweet pear and some banana. Creamy on the nose, but not fat. You notice a bit of wood, fudge and some citrus. We like the structure on the tongue, which provides some grip. The wine is much less fruity in the mouth than it was on the nose. With a dinner plate of cheese, sausage and beetroot salad, the Chardonnay becomes extremely creamy and goes really well along the food. The combination lives on the mouthfeel. The blend of creaminess and woodiness with the light fruit is great. I’ve been celebrating highly reductive Chardonnays on the blog a lot lately, and the wine here is of course pretty far from that, but that doesn’t change the fact that I still really like it. Drinking the same thing over and over again would be pretty boring, too.

A night in the refrigerator does not bring much change. The wine is quite young and so it seems it needs certainly more than one night in the refrigerator or even a few years in the cellar to be able to experience the development. With the bottle here, however, this is no longer possible. It is empty now.

The Pinot Noir has a nice spicy nose. There is a lot of cherry, also some wood and a few herbs. The wine feels very fresh and young. The fruit is fun and the tannin is incredibly charming. If I were to gripe, it would be that it is almost too charming. There’s nothing twitchy or rough about it. Since I do not want to reproach the wine today that it tastes too good to me and drinks too nice, we simply stick to enjoying it. Given the wine costs well under 20 euro that just feels wrong as a criticism anyway. The Pinot Noir has a super nice fruit, has spice, some wood, floral notes and lots of freshness. So its all there.

In contrast to the Chardonnay, a night changes the Pinot Noir. The wine gains depth above all. The fruit takes a small step back. There is still the cherry, but now plum and dark berries are added. The wine seems a bit earthier, spicier and a good bit more serious. It has also gained in length. Perhaps it simply needs another year or two in the cellar. In any case, it is even better now than it was on the first evening anyway.

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