Two Bottles Scherer & Zimmer

We're drinking a bottle of Ton Steine Mergel Weiß 2022 and a Pinot Noir Kxrchbxrg without a vintage from Scherer and Zimmer in Bad Krozingen.

If we had learned about frei.Wein in Freiburg a few weeks earlier last year, maybe it would have worked out in terms of timing. Unfortunately, it was too short notice, which is quite a shame because a visit to Freiburg is always worthwhile, whether there’s an event or not. If we had been there, we could have tried the wines from Felix Scherer and Michael Zimmer. The two have been making wine in Bad Krozingen in Baden since 2011, just a short distance southwest of Freiburg, far in the southwest of the country. They got to know each other during their apprenticeship at the Saatsweingut in Freiburg, then studied in Geisenheim, and eventually ended up in Bad Krozingen. What ends up in the bottle from the biodynamically cultivated vineyards is quite diverse and sometimes quite experimental. Of course, there’s Gutedel, but there’s also Gutedel made from maceration. There’s PetNat, but there’s also Pinot Brut Nature with three years of bottle aging. The reason we’re tasting these wines today is that social media actually had some usefulness for once. Andreas made it to the fair unlike us and then gave me the tip that I should give these wines a try. A good tip, I can say that much already. On the table today, as you can see in the title image, is a bottle of Ton|Steine|Mergel Weiss from 2022, a blend of Müller-Thurgau, Weissburgunder, and Muskateller. The wine undergoes spontaneous fermentation and then matures in used wooden barrels. Additionally, we’re drinking a Pinot Noir Kxrchbxrg, which doesn’t carry a vintage on the bottle or on the website. The wine spends two weeks on the skins, also undergoes spontaneous fermentation, and then spends a year in used small wooden barrels. Speaking of the title image, I find the labels really stylish, and instead of just a front and back label, there are three labels on the bottle. Just the right thing for me, a self-proclaimed label drinker. Although I don’t want to know how annoying it must be to cleanly stick the three labels onto the bottles.

The Ton|Steine|Mergel initially smells like lemonade. Super fresh, a bit exotic, and lots of lemon verbena. I’m not a fan of Muskateller at all, but somehow I like this. Maybe my taste is developing once again, or maybe it just fits well today, you never know exactly. The wine isn’t really aggressively fragrant, though. Especially when swirled, it develops quite a stinker. Maybe that’s why I like it so much. The wine tastes like it smells. Juicy, clear, and quite lemonade-like. If we didn’t consciously give all wines two days here on the blog, the bottle would simply disappear now.

For me, that would have been the better choice when thinking about it on the second day. However, the better half strongly disagrees. There’s more naturalness in the nose and also in the mouth. More tannin, more structure, and the acidity has become significantly wilder. There’s less Muskateller now, and, I never thought I’d say this, but I miss it a bit. However, this change is cause for joy on the other side of the table across from me. That’s just how it is sometimes. And even in my glass, the freshness and the pull continue to be very enjoyable, just not quite as much as on the first evening. So it’s not really that bad, and unexpectedly, the lost fragrance returns with more oxygen. The longer the second evening lasts, the more lemonade is back in the glass.

The Pinot Noir starts with cherry. Add a bit of spice and some wood. But mainly cherry. And when you drink it, it’s just the same. And the longer the fruit lingers on the palate, the more cherry it becomes. First a bit of tannin, then acidity, and then cherry. But what a cherry it is. Sometimes in wine, you get not just the memory of something or the impression of something, but for a few moments, it’s exactly that thing. The real deal, so to speak. Sometimes it’s a green apple in white wine, or olives in Syrah, and here, it’s cherries. This fine grip of skin and flesh, the juiciness, the taste. As if you had just eaten fresh cherries. Beautiful, and I can’t remember ever having that in a wine before like this.

Although the nose has changed quite a bit on the second evening, this feeling of having chewed on a few fruits remains. The Pinot Noir now smells somehow more serious, more mature. There’s more earth, more dirt, and more spice. Less fruit and instead marzipan, herbs, and old leather. Simply denser and more intense now. I can’t decide if I prefer the first or the second evening. What I do know for sure is that the wines are a real discovery, and on top of that the Pinot Noir costs only 14 euros from the winery. We just reordered.

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