As I took the bottle of the last week from the box ahead of schedule, I came across the Spätburgunder from Eymann. I bought it along with the bottles we talked about here in the previous Eymann tasting round. And then I forgot about it. Which will prove to be quite a lucky coincidence. But I’ll get to that later. Like last time, Vincent Eymann is the winemaker behind the wines. The almost 18 hectares of vineyards around Gönnheim in the Palatinate are cultivated organically and have been for many, many years. In the winery, there is a focus on sparkling wines and wines from Riesling and Pinot Noir, and we drink accordingly today Riesling and Pinot Noir. The wines of the Toreye series are a vineyard selection on a quality level above the village wines and below the single vineyard wines. Of this Pinot Noir from the year 2017 there are just over 3000 bottles. The wine spent about a year in large and small oak barrels. The Riesling from the Wachenheimer Schlossberg comes from ungrafted vines that are over 50 years old and grow on variegated sandstone. It is fermented spontaneously in wood. The parcel is tiny, so there are only about 420 bottles and 30 magnums of this wine.
As hinted, forgetting a bottle of Pinot Noir and then finding it again, that can be quite great. And here it is exactly that. Briefly I had the fear that 6 years on the back might have pushed the wine already over the peak in the direction of descending. But that was completely unjustified. This is feel-good wine, pure harmony. This is one of those wines that you pour, put the glass to your nose and then grin blissfully to yourself. There is very gentle, red fruit, a lot of cherry, some wood and some marzipan. Behind it a little bit of etheric and a trace of earth. When drinking, the Pinot Noir seems juicy cool with a very soft tannin. But that’s not so central here. I write from time to time about wines that don’t really touch me on the first evening, although I can understand in the sum of the parts that they are actually good wines. This here is the exact opposite. This is bigger than the sum of the parts from the first moment on. This is not the most amazing Pinot Noir I have ever smelled, this is not the deepest wine, although there is a lot to discover, and maybe not the most elegant. And at the same time, that is completely irrelevant. Because everything that this wine has in this moment comes together perfectly. In the glass and in my head.
The next day the spice is more pronounced and the fruit recedes a bit. But that doesn’t change the urge to stick your nose in the glass. Now with a day more oxygen, it becomes even more noticeable how fresh it actually tastes. The time in the bottle, which you can already feel when smelling and which is guaranteed to be decisive for how harmoniously everything comes together, seems to have passed by the mouthfeel. Unfortunately, and I specifically looked, it was the only forgotten bottle of this wine. Too bad. Oh and one more thing is too bad. That there are no swabian lentils and Spätzle on the table along with it (for my international readers, simply the best food there is). I have a suspicion that this could make this wine even better.
A Riesling has a very hard time after that. And the first nose is very typical Riesling, with its yellow fruit and stony minerality. Every turn in the glass makes the wine more exciting and mysterious at the same time. It starts off with a very tart quince note, which then fades and gives way to spice with a hint of glue. More air then causes an intense herbaceousness to appear in the wine. This is already a pretty wild ride in the first minutes in the glass. When drinking, there is a lot of freshness in the wine, pull and also the yellow fruit from the very beginning. Actually very charming, until more and more texture comes back on the tongue and something woody that doesn’t quite fit for me. This is without question very good. But it is also a bit exhausting.
The smell doesn’t change much overnight. More quince, the herbs have stayed, the stone too. But it drinks very differently. Much juicier with much more pull and citrusy acidity with gentle bitters behind it. You pull your cheeks in, your tongue up and before you realize it, you are overcome by this unpleasant wine drinker’s smacking, which in private at the dining table doesn’t really bother us though. That is exactly what was missing on the first evening and I’m glad it’s here now. This slightly disturbing end, this woody tone that I couldn’t assign, that’s completely gone. The wine is long, juicy and straight. The wine is not a feel-good wine and nowhere is that more evident than in the combination with the Pinot Noir tonight. But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad wine, the very opposite actually. It challenges, has structure and now, with a day of air, the Riesling is very enjoyable. And more and more air enhances exactly that. More fruit is added, it becomes softer and juicier and starts to remind slightly of a herbal bath. That is a compliment and not a criticism, which is sometimes hard to tell when comparing to herbal baths. And anyway, this whole comparison of the two wines is not a comparison but just a coincidence combination, which is due to my desire for these bottles. The Riesling is two years younger and at the same time in a category of wine that actually wants to be forgotten even longer than the Pinot. If you own the wine, then just do that. This was also a single bottle, like many wines that I buy. Too much wine and too little liver. There’s no other way. But I’m not sad that both are gone now. Because they are both really nice wines.