For me, the place Stetten on a wine bottle in my head is almost inseparably associated with wine from here from the Rems Valley and in today’s case I would be completely wrong. Although Stetten is written on the Scheurebe, it does not come from Württemberg but from Franconia. The Knoll family has been making wine in Würzburg in the middle of the Würzburger Stein site since 1980 in the winery with the obvious name Weingut Am Stein. We taste three wines from the winery, a bottle of Silvaner from the Würzburger Stein 2020, a bottle of Pinot Noir from the site Würzburger Innere Leiste 2018 and as already mentioned the Scheurebe from Stetten. Where, incidentally, there would also be a site Stein with wines from the winery, but that was then a bit too much Stein for me. In the site Würzburger Stein, the vines are oriented to the south in the slope on shell limestone. The Würzburger Innere Leiste is a little south of it on the other side of the Main in a small side valley with a slightly different climate and Stetten is then a little north of Würzburg, where the vines are also on shell limestone. All vineyards are farmed biodynamically in the winery. Silvaner and Spätburgunder are classified as VDP.Erste Lage, while Scheurebe, which is filled with light residual sugar, is classified as Ortswein.
We start with the Silvaner. It smells a bit like vegetation, a bit like hay and yeast. There is mango, but the fruit is very subtle overall and the wine lives on herbaceousness and spice in the nose. The spiciness then also defines the Silvaner when drinking. There is of course also fruit and a fairly soft acidity, but it is really fun mainly through the structure and the spice.
Overnight, the wine then retreats a bit and somehow doesn’t really feel like it on the second evening. This seems super young now, yeasty and very quiet. In the mouth, there is still the great structure, but it is not really fun and the choice between oxygen by pouring into a carafe or simply give it another day fell on the additional day time.
This was exactly the right decision, although forced aeration in the carafe would certainly have had a similar effect. The wine is fully there again, has become more open, more expressive. In the mouth there is even more focus, there is green apple and texture and a, so the first two evenings unprecedented, juiciness and length. I myself would give a second bottle a little more time in the cellar, but there is actually nothing at all against opening now and then either directly add a lot of air or simply enjoy over several days. In any case this is a lot of fun.
The Scheurebe smells intensely fruity, but is not intensely fruity. It sounds pretty silly now and there’s multivitamin juice, exoticism, mango, passion fruit, berries and a bit of pineapple, but still, it doesn’t come off as overbearing at all. This is super serious and with so much tension on the nose that this totally picks me up as well. The little bit more residual sugar makes this extremely charming and together with the good portion of passion fruit and gooseberry, this is equally serious in its fruit while drinking. And a little bit of green notes then hold up so nicely that I already know that this is not going to last for three evenings.
The wine doesn’t need that either, since hardly anything changes overnight. I find especially exciting that here is much more passion fruit on the tongue than one has in the nose. As far as I can remember, I never had it this way round. And where the extra night didn’t make much difference, the wine likes to have a few degrees more temperature. Scheurebe can be really strong.
The Pinot Noir then has a lot of spice at the end, some smoke, tobacco and cherry. There is first of all a surprising amount of tannin in the wine, which also brings a lot of pressure out the back but never becomes unripe scratchy. And although this is already quite juicy, one has the feeling that he is just not quite there yet. But we have time and anyway already opened a third evening for the Silvaner.
Here, even the first day more brings a marked improvement. The wine has become more earthy, the fruit more open. The cherry is so cherry-y now and the acidity gives a lot of freshness. The tannin has softened a bit, but is still clearly present and this evolution towards more openness continues in small steps with air and temperature in the glass. The fruit is getting darker on the nose and the emptied glass smells like walnut.
And the deserved third evening continues this evolution. Clearly at its most harmonious, the final sips then empty as if by themselves. This is now so perfectly round and balanced and relaxed. Maybe there was wine yoga in the fridge, who knows. What I do know in any case is that it is more than worthwhile to give the Pinot Noir, like the Silvaner, time.