The rheinhessische Schweiz, which means something along Switzerland in Rheinhessen, has so far appeared on the inner wine atlas mainly because of the Wagner-Stempel winery in Siefersheim. The area in the west of Rheinhessen is characterized by rocks, mountains, okay compared to the actual swiss mountains rather tiny hills, and valleys and therefore has its name. And just a short distance to the east of Siefersheim is Eckelsheim. Andreas Mann can look back on a winegrowing tradition here that goes all the way to 1699, and yet he was first drawn to economics before deciding to make wine after all. His grapes grow on about 10 hectares, which he then turns into wine as close to nature as possible with a lot of craftsmanship. We often drink Natural and the distinctive three-part labels of the Mann winery often cross our path and I have always thought that they look interesting. But they have never found their way into the shopping cart. So it was time to change that. The Weissburgunder comes from the porphyry that characterizes the soils here in the Rheinhessen region, hence its name Purpur. The wine is vinified in used piece and half piece barrels. The Spätburgunder, on the other hand, grows on both limestone soils (calx) and porphyry and is aged in used small wooden barrels. Both wines are not filtered and no sulfur is added.
We start white, however. I’ve never had yeast cubes in the nose as clearly as here. This smells directly after opening actually exactly like a cube of baker’s yeast. I think thats quite fun. Apart from that, these notes are relatively quickly replaced by a spicy, deep nose that becomes more and more intense with air. There is also fruit behind it, but it does not come directly to the front but lays around the spice and always looks out in between. In the mouth, the wine is super fresh with crisp acidity, citrus fruit and a lot of substance at the back.
And even a day later, the wine still has a slight stink. However, not reminiscent of yeast cubes but somehow more complex. I find this very exciting, but don’t really know what I’m actually tasting. There’s a bit of scrub, a bit of marc, the fruit has gone down another notch. The acidity is brilliant. It’s super ripe and juicy and although it’s crisp, it’s kind of the opposite of laser acidity. And so then you sit there slightly confused but happy in front of the glass and drink. It’s as unusual as it is good, if you allow the wine to shine.
The Pinot Noir was poured way too cool at first and it does not like that. With more temperature however comes dirty cherry, some forest floor, lilac and dried red berries that somehow remind you of cranberries or something along those lines. On the tongue, more and different acidity then takes hold than I expected. This is somewhere between wild and fruity and already a little bit rebellious and if you want to look very closely probably not quite what you would call completely clean, but just dosed so that it does not interfere, but gives a great edge. Out the back comes a good portion of sour cherry. There is hardly any tannin, but I don’t miss it either. It’s really fun that way.
The tannin surprisingly emerges a day later. For lack of space, the wine had to spend the night outside the refrigerator. Who reads here more often knows that one of my biggest problems with Natural is that the tannin on the second evening no longer really wants to find the wine and it then falls apart for me. And this one just dances on the knife blade between me liking it and falling apart. What’s left there when the wine is gone, that’s just not for me. And it may be that I’m very sensitive there, because the better half has nothing to complain about. And what happens before with juiciness, rosehip, hibiscus and the great, fresh acidity, I also find really good. Next time we simply empty the bottle on the first evening. Because on that evening there was no grumbling at all.