Two Bottles Wetzel

We drink a Trollinger Pur 2018 and a Cabernet Franc 2019 from Harald Wetzel from Stuttgart.

We stay in Württemberg and drink wine from the capital, because there is viticulture there, too. A little southwest of the city center, according to Google on foot (however good the route planning on foot may be) about three quarters of an hour away from the market square, lies the Degerlocher Schnarrenberg. The site was mentioned in documents as early as the fifteenth century, so it is a traditional site in Stuttgart. Since 2007, Harald Wetzel has been cultivating vines organically in the steep slopes, which are typically demarcated by dry stone walls. And this in the slightly wild-sounding combination of Trollinger (very typical for here) and Cabernet Franc (rather not so typical for here). He makes natural wine from the grapes and is currently getting his organic farming certified. The Trollinger is, of course, fermented spontaneously, aged in used wooden barrels and then bottled without sulfur or filtration. Our bottle, just purchased, is from the 2018 vintage. The Cabernet Franc, also made with as little intervention as possible, spontaneously fermented and filled without sulfur, is from 2019. The label, which looks more like abstract art up close, turns out to be a raven if you take a step back, which is printed by hand on paper for each label and looks a bit different because of that each time.

Trollinger is overall rather difficult in terms of reputation and quality on the bottles. And I can already hear when pouring the whining about it, that this is not a real red wine with such a color and whether this might be rosé or not. There is a reason, why so often other varieties are added to Trollinger just for the color. I don’t really care about color in wine though and apart from that I like the color as it is as well. The possible discussion should then be done anyway, if you hang your nose in the glass. There’s quite a bit going on. A light but very clean stink is there. And although there is natural wine even spelled out on the label, it actually does not smell exactly like what you would expect in a wine that has natural spelled on its label. Sure, it’s a bit wild, but those were all the Trollinger I’ve liked lately. For me, it goes well with the grape variety and somehow it maybe even needs it. There’s red fruit, some yeast and a bit of tannin. Just smelling it makes me look forward to pairing it with lentils and spaetzle for dinner. On the tongue, this is super juicy, fresh, fruity but also with tannin and lots of draw. “Thats how you do it. This is how Trollinger is amazing” is what you want to shout in the face of all those boring bottles of Trollinger land up and down. But maybe you’ve already done that in the past and realized that it doesn’t help anyone. In the end it doesnt matter anyway, because everyone should drink what they want and who loves the other type of Trollinger will call me and others crazy anyway in how we like this type of wine at all. In case it has not become clear already, I indeed like this, very much.

And even a day later, straight from the fridge, the wine is really fun. Cool fruit, some cold redbush tea, some tannin. That’s up there with the exciting, with the new Trollinger, which makes drinking through Württemberg, among other things, so exciting. Whether this is something for oneself, everyone must then decide for themselves. For just about 15 euros, you should give the wine in any case at least once a chance.

By the way, Harald Wetzel also makes a sparkling wine, Brut Nature, hand-shaken from exactly these Trollinger grapes. Unfortunately, the dealer was just out. But is now on the inner list for wines that I would like to try in the future.

The Cabernet Franc is denser on the nose than the Trollinger. Also a bit stinky, but at the same time with significantly more fruit. Berry and cherry smells are there and in the empty glass then intensively notes of red currants with stems. But also spice is there and something herbal. And somehow this smells much more like Natural than the Trollinger did. Not offensive or unclean, but this does have more funk to it. The acidity dances on the palate on the line between wild freshness and too wild, but manages to just barely not fall off for me. And while the acidity cuts through the tannin like this, it too is somewhere where one more step wouldn’t fit for me. For me, the wine is a bit of borderline experience on the right side of the border and if you can and want to get involved, then it also gives plenty of room for discovery and becomes more complex with more oxygen.

And the wine stays that way over the next two days. The fruit has become a bit more subtle, there is some licorice, herbs and very dark berries. I always have the fear with such wines that they fall apart and that they can’t keep that dance on the knives blade going. But that does not happen here. This simply remains exactly the same even after two days in the open bottle. Exciting, a bit stressful maybe, but also quite beautiful.

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