A selection of bottles from some of Europe's trailblazing young winemakers.
Karl Haidle Riesling Kabinett "Pfeffer" Württemberg 2016 - Organically Grown + Low Intervention
Country: GERMANY/ Region: WÜRTTEMBERG / Appellation: REMSTAL / Varietal(s): RIESLING --- From the importers/specialists at Schatzi Wines: "Founded in 1949 by retired, world-class gymnast Karl Haidle and now onto its third generation, Weingut Haidle has long been a pioneer and leader in fine-wine production in Württemburg. Today, the young and energetic Moritz Haidle is in charge of the estate. He is a dedicated organic farmer, and a passionate devotee of hip-hop culture. A talented graffiti artist, Moritz is no doubt a radical figure in the Swabian wine scene, uprooting the traditional image of the staid German winzer. His vibrant character and commitment to terroir translates in the pure, focused wines that are emerging from this deep, natural cellar. Specializing in Riesling, Lemberger, and Spätburgunder, Moritz gives the unique slopes of Stetten a chance to speak with nuance and clarity." The "Pfeffer", named not for the German word for "pepper", but for David Pfeffer, a local musician and comedian in the 18th century, is a classic riesling, with gorgeous balance between stone fruit and mineral characters. Lovely structure with fresh, rounded acidity makes this a slam dunk with some Swabian-inspired fare: spätzle and Vienna sausage!
Weingut Knauss "La Boutanche" Rosé Württemberg 2017 - Organically Grown + Low Intervention
Country: GERMANY/ Region: WÜRTTEMBERG / Appellation: WÜRTTEMBERG / Varietal(s): TROLLINGER --- Andi Knauss -- the thirty-something at the helm of Weingut Knauss in the Wurttemberg region of Southwest Germany -- always knew winemaking was in the cards. Historically the winery had been a hobby for the family, but Andi got serious, enrolling in wine school followed by training with an organic producer in Austria. Andi's winemaking approach bucks the modernist tradition, choosing only to use native yeasts for fermentation and using only a discrete amount of sulfur (often eschewing its use entirely). The "La Boutanche" Rosé is a collaborative effort with the importer Selection Massale to source tasty and affordable organic, minimalist wines from sought after producers. Knauss's bottle comes from a direct press of young-vine trollinger fermented in stainless steel tanks. This results in a pale, salmon-pink wine with well balanced red cherry and alpine herb flavors. Lovely expression of rosé that will make you rethink that next purchase of Provençal pink. Sip this wet weather away and have with with your second plate of Swabian spätzle and Vienna sausage (see Haidle above ⬆⬆).
Domaine Ledogar "Roug'é Clair" Vin de France 2017 - Certified Organic + Low Intervention
Country: FRANCE/ Region: LANGUEDOC-ROUSSILLON / Appellation: VIN DE FRANCE / Varietal(s): GRENACHE/CARIGNAN --- Brothers Xavier and Mathieu Ledogar come from a wine growing family, as both their great grandfathers were wine growers to Ferrals Les Corbières. Nature lover Xavier began working the vineyards at 12 years old, and dropped out of agriculture school at 18 to devote himself full time to the domaine. He took over the 22 hectares of the domaine on his own in 1997, building a cellar (previously wine had been sent to the local cooperative), and originally calling the estate Domaine Grand Lauze, before eventually switching to the family name. Brother Mathieu joined him in 2000, and now he and Xavier work together, farming organically (and biodynamically since 2004). Xavier and Mathieu follow moon cycles, use organic fertilizers and plant infusions on the vines. They use a horse to plow the vines and also have some donkeys that assist in weeding. "Roug'é Clair" is now in the third vintage of what started as an experiment during their conversion to organic and biodynamic practices. A blend of grenache and carignan, the grapes from each different terroir are vinified separately and blended when Xavier thinks they are ready. As bright and lively as its label, it explodes with lovely red cherry and berry fruit, with a decidedly juicy mouthfeel! Clean and exuberant, it adds intrigue with earthy herbal notes and more generous berries on a lip-smacking finish. Although dangerously quaffable, this is far from simple. Pour with something simple and delicious: grilled cheese with heirloom tomato.