Back to wines that you can actually easily buy unlike last week. Jens and Katja Bäder met and fell in love at Geisenheim University and then founded their joint winery in Wendelsheim in an area called Rheinhessische Schweiz, Switzerland of Rheinhessen, in 2009. The area has grown from the initial 2.5 hectares to 12 hectares, which are cultivated organically by the two of them. The focus is on Riesling and Pinot varieties, which can then cover a pretty broad spectrum. We drink a Grauburgunder sparkling wine, which we drink mainly because I can’t remember ever drinking pure Pinot Gris sparkling wine and I wanted to know what it tastes like and of course I have prejudices. The sparkling wine is vintage 2021 and is produced in classic bottle fermentation and filled with about 7 grams of residual sugar Brut. In addition, we drink from the base a Blanc de Noirs, which is made from Pinot Noir and Frühburgunder. The grapes are pressed directly and then aged in stainless steel. And last but not least a bottle of Riesling La Roche 2021. In this location, the vines grow on red, sandstone-studded porphyry soil. And that great Riesling can grow on the porphyry in the Rhine-Hessian Switzerland, we know for a while now.
With the Pinot Gris sparkling wine I don’t know what I expected, that was just curiosity. It smells very fruity. A bit like multivitamin juice with citrus fruits. In terms of fragrance, it reminds me a bit of the Muscatel sparkling wine from Winterling, albeit much less intense of course and a bit more pome fruit in it. But that’s also such a candidate that I find delicious once a year and then need a year’s rest again. The proof that this is only my personal taste and that tastes differ is sitting right across from me. The better half celebrates this wine very much. I’m not so sure yet. That’s fresh, the bubbles are nice and fine, that’s fruity and somehow also serious with a bit of yeastiness in it. That’s good, but not for me and that’s okay too.
Quite funny then that it’s reversed with the Blanc de Noirs and I like it much more right now than my counterpart. Normally it’s also with Blanc de Noirs exactly the other way around. At least with still wine. With bubbles, the world looks different. This Blanc de Noirs needs a moment after unscrewing, as it still has a pretty yeasty veil that could briefly be beer. But that disappears very quickly and is then replaced by a fine red fruit mixed with melon. The acidity is tame and yet there is a lot of freshness in the wine with a nice structure at the back of the tongue. I think that’s very tasty.
The yeast remains gone on the second evening. There is more fruit now, further the melon and a bit of orange. That’s very smooth. When smelling and also when drinking. That runs so nicely relaxed along the palate. In the mouth there are clearly more berries than in the nose and anyway I like the fruit pretty well. I can imagine that this works pretty well for barbecue, but for lack of practical test that has to remain a thought experiment.
The La Roche is then unexpectedly fruity. There is yellow, slightly creamy pome fruit with elderflower. And there is something ethereal there too. That reminds me of bath water, which always sounds somehow unpleasant, but is not meant that way at all. In the mouth there is indeed some pull, but for being a 21 vintage in comparison to some other Riesling from that year it is very restrained. Interesting I find that it feels much tighter than the Blanc de Noirs although the analysis values in the webshop are not so far apart. The Riesling here is according to that at 6.5 grams of acid at 5 grams of residual sugar. The dry drinker faction screams out loud in pain, but I think that this suits this wine well and at least I don’t have to lick with every Riesling on the barren rock. A matter of taste. That has real length, has a great structure at the back and a fine herbal spice. That’s good as it is.
The first association on the second evening is then Orangina. There is slightly dark, very clear citrus fruit. More orange than yellow in color. The fruit, not the Riesling. And further there are the herbs and a touch of bath water. When drinking then comes a mix of Orangina, Almdudler and elderflower syrup without the sweetness. There is structure and meanwhile also some mineral saltiness. For me it lives from this fruitiness and the aroma. That this sounds more like criticism than praise for one or the other I have never understood. That has to fit to the evening and to the current lust and then such a feel-good Riesling like this one is very, very good. And who knows, maybe next week I want to nibble on rocks again.