Schnaitmann - Kostobel 2021

We drink this week from Württemberg a bottle of Kostobel Grauburgunder 2021 from the Schnaitmann winery.

After quite a few wines from Burgundy or at least wines from Chardonnay or Pinot Noir, I thought I would build a small bridge back to more grape variety diversity with this bottle of Pinot Gris, called Grauburgunder here in Germany. There is still Burgundy in the name, hence the bridge, but at the same time Pinot Gris should be somewhere in the category of irrelevant in the minds of those who order more than “white wine” or “red wine”. That is no different in my head and yet or precisely because of that, some Pinot Gris have accumulated here on the blog over the years that break out of this drawer. And this one does too. At least I hoped so when buying, as the called up just over 40 euros are quite ambitious and the voice in my head constantly murmurs “and that for a Pinot Gris”. Anyway, the last few weeks have been pretty expensive and I want to change that again. That also satisfies the little Swabian in my head, who now only murmurs something about wine slurping and then hopefully shuts up. I generally like Schnaitmann quite a lot, the Lemberger and Rieslings anyway, but also the Trollinger. Very much so and its reputation is much worse too. So why not Pinot Gris too I thought. This one is a special bottling for Wein am Limit. Part of the grapes are fermented on the skins and then everything is aged for 9 months in used wooden barrels on the full lees. The wine then comes, as you can easily see in the picture even in the blurred background, without filtration as Swabian Landwein into the bottle. What you can also see is what happens when you screw the corkscrew in crooked and not deep enough and then realize how leverage and very crooked pulling works in reality. Luckily, the broken cork residue cooperated and let itself be removed completely without crumbs and grumbling.

What follows the cork out of the bottle is a challenge at first sniff. As a complete counter-draft to irrelevant fruity-only wine, this is herbal, tight, cool and practically fruitless. And also when drinking there is nothing reminding of fruit at first. The wine has extreme pull, is also tight and dense here and equipped with the structure of the white skins of several grapefruits. But that is so juicy besides the bitter note that you must drink again immediatly. Radical Pinot Gris I would say. And with air and swirling some apple and citrus develops in the nose.

The first thought on the second evening is that there is still something wild in the wine. But that’s not true, it is unusual, but it’s not wild and it wasn’t on the first evening either. Quite the opposite, this is super clean. But just different than you would expect. This is kind of lemonade-like, has a bit of cider and a lot of herbs. This tells of orange and natural, but it is neither orange nor natural. This is Saufwein. You can empty the glasses in big gulps if you want, but then you can also hang over the glass forever and smell and taste and discover new things again and again. To experience the development from the strenuous first sip to what this does on the tongue now is one of those wine moments that never get boring. This is impressive and has relatively little to do with what I imagine under Pinot Gris, even after the many good ones. This is wine, this is lemonade and lightly hopped cider, this is uncomplicated and highly complex at the same time, this is impressive and idiosyncratic and finds even more love across the table from me than with me already. This is actually pretty awesome.

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