Bernhard Ellwanger - Lemberger SL Grossheppacher Wanne 2018

We drink from the Rems Valley a bottle of Lemberger SL Grossheppacher Wanne 2018 from the winery Bernhard Ellwanger.

We end the small Württemberg series as we started it: With Lemberger. And the bracket is even a bit more brackety, because the winery Bernhard Ellwanger is just like Wachststetter part of the Junges Schwaben Group. Here, however, it’s not the Lemberger that gets the label, but the Sauvignon Blanc. The Lemberger SL Grossheppacher Wanne must, or rather may, do without the additional sticker above the normal label, which I do not like very much, the sticker that is not the fact that it goes without it. Sven Ellwanger, who together with sister Yvonne is now responsible for the winery, makes wine in Großheppach (just over 4500 inhabitants, and yes, there is Kleinheppach next to it, and yes, that is even smaller, with groß meaning big and klein meaning small in german) in the Rems Valley. Since 2013, the two have had their sustainable work certified under the FairChoice Label. The vines grow in the Großheppacher Wanne on siliceous sandstone and were cold macerated for four days for this wine after harvest in 2018 and then fermented on the mash for three weeks. Then it went into the barrique for another 2 years.

Of course, you can smell that then. This is dense, red, dark and berry on the nose with lots of spice and a bit of woody scrub in between. You get the feeling that there’s not much that fits in between, so tight is the whole smell still squeezed together. This practically screams for air and of course it should be given in. But never without a test sip. There is then a lot of acidity. This is super fresh and juicy and of course then has tannin out the back. But I like the texture very much and somehow it seems much more open when drinking than when smelling. There is also the red fruit and the woody undergrowth, which then clearly gains the upper hand. That 2018 is then also already 5 years ago in the meantime, you notice the bottle here at least not for a single second.

Overnight, the wine has become even more tannic. Not an unpleasant amount and not scratchy either, just more of it. Fortunately, there is acid that cuts through the tannin from the middle of the tongue, clearing the way for the fruit. Still, this has become more demanding to drink. There’s already good resistance and quite a bit happening on the tongue and cheeks. Personally, I like the wine even better this way than the first evening. The nose is still as dense as the first evening with this mix of spice and fruit. There’s real energy in there that doesn’t disappear even with slowly increasing harmony with more temperature and oxygen contact.

And because this has worked really well every now and then over the last few weeks, there is also a third evening with the remaining rest in the bottle. And as already tasted more often in recent weeks, it is probably the third evening that can elicit the wines their completely charming side. A bit of this was already announced at the end of the previous evening, but that it continues like this, that is never guaranteed. The fruit has now become really soft and full and ripe, still very dark, there’s a mix of vanilla bean and cinnamon sticks on the nose and in the mouth this is now really cuddly. Tannin and acidity, arm in arm and there’s a bit of cherry pastry peeking through at the end. That’s why you should take your time with a wine like this. This is, once again, a different wine every evening. Not better, not worse, just different and if you miss some of it, yes you miss some of it.

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