Wöhrwag - Lemberger Herzogenberg GG

We drink two bottles of Lemberger GG Herzogenberg from 2017 and 2019 from the Winery Wöhrwag from Württemberg.

Since a series of wines from Württemberg without enough Lemberger is not a series of wines from Württemberg for me, there are two bottles of Lemberger today. And instead of drinking horizontally through the assortment, it has become a mini-vertical (okay, there are actually only 2 vintages, so rather a micro-vertical) from the Untertürkheimer Herzogenberg. A little more than 12 hectares here are classified by the VDP as Große Lage and are solely owned by the Wöhrwag winery. The vineyard is centrally located, with a view of the stadium and the relegation battle, in the triangle between Bad-Cannstatt, Fellbach and Untertürkheim, and a little south of that, in the center of Untertürkheim, you will find the winery. Hans-Peter Wöhrwag and his family are the sixth generation of the family to be responsible for the wines and actually grow mainly white grape varieties. Over 40 percent of the vineyard area is reserved for Riesling, while Lemberger is far behind with only 12%. But as I said, I’m in the mood for Lemberger. The vines for the two bottles grow on keuper soils and the grapes for the wines were harvested in 2017 and 2019. We’ll start with 2017.

The wine smells like Amarena cherries right after pouring. The good Amarena cherries, not that bright red, artificially colored cheap excuse of a cherry from a canned fruit salad. The ones you actually want to eat, the ones with intense cherry fruit, a little marzipan and deep satisfaction in the glass. There’s also chocolate, a bit of wood and plenty of spice. Oh boy is this beautiful. The fruit alone could carry you through the evening, but then you haven’t drunk anything yet. In the mouth, the wine is then really fresh, really straight with fine but clearly present texture. And then the cherry also settles on the tongue. It starts off really well and becomes more intense and powerful with air. This is really tasty.

Overnight, the wine becomes more subtle on the nose. I still like it a lot though. This is perfectly round and harmonious. Calm and balanced, resting in itself somehow. Meditation wine, but it’s not me who has to meditate on the wine, it’s the wine that meditates. This fruit, now more berry than cherry, the fine tannin, the freshness. I wish I had been better prepared, because then I would now eat roast beef with it. Or lentils. A big mistake on my part, which will not happen again.

The 2019 Lemberger is quite different. There’s a slight stink on the nose, it’s woodier, more vegetal, with much less fruit. Everything that the 2017 has in terms of fruit can also be found, if you look for it, but much quieter, much further back and often only in hints. This is much denser, much more intense, but thus also a good deal more strenuous in direct comparison.

Here the night in the fridge was really necessary. The slight smell of animal stable has receded, which I find almost a bit of a shame, because I actually quite like that. This is still intense and dense, but has become much more approachable. There’s pepper, cherry, wood spice and herbs. Only the 14% alcohol it can never really hide. This really isn’t just a different vintage, this is a different wine and I don’t want to and can’t even say what I think is better. If one of the wines, like the 2017 here, is just enormously delicious, then the wines with more tension, more depth always have a hard time. What I can say is that the day’s lead-in on 2019 is sorely needed. The overnight evolution is impressive and the first impression doesn’t begin to do justice to what there is to discover then. So either pour it into the decanter, wait a few years, or drink it over more than one evening.

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