From £6.98, €7.85, 19.50 Swiss francs
Yesterday, in Sauvignon Blancs from … Germany, I wrote about this rather unusual combination of varietal (yes, varietal this time rather than variety) and provenance. As I said, I recently had a chance to taste six examples – three from the Pfalz shown here and three different vintages of Aldinger's from Württemberg – and was impressed by all of them for various reasons. Julia also recently tasted and approved of several German Sauvignons.
The cheapest of my three Pfalz Sauvignons is the one in the middle of the picture. Reh Kendermann have conjured the very accomplished, if obviously highly technical, Kalkstein Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Pfalz as an answer to a Marlborough Sauvignon, and in the UK is only £6.98 at Asda supermarkets, apparently – so rather cheaper than most New Zealand wines.
Alexander and Martin Bauer’s Sauvignon Blanc has real individual character, both in the bottle and on the eye-catching label below. I’m guessing the Bauers speak English pretty well. The sheet accompanying the bottle suggests ‘Victuals: red mullet or mussels, fresh seafood generally, or a cheeky aperitif’.
Very popular with German consumers, this screwcapped 12.5% wine has, according to the analysis, 8.5 g/l residual sugar but you certainly don’t taste it – mainly thanks to its total acidity of 7.5 g/l. It has a bone-dry finish and lots of zesty green fruit on the way there with great crystalline structure. Mind you, I don’t think there is any point in ageing it. I gave it 16.5 out of 20 and suggested drinking it this year. Although on the nose there’s a hint of that slightly sweaty aromatic spectrum one can find in some Sauvignons, this wine is very much its own clean, fresh, confident style – neither New Zealand nor Loire. It certainly isn’t for everyone but it does prove that German wine is evolving and that many preconceptions about it are wrong.
According to wine-searcher.com, the Bauer wine is available from many retailers in Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland. It is imported into the UK by Red Squirrel Wine, who have reduced it from £16.50 to £13.50 a bottle. Red Squirrel say they specialise in the 'rare and unusual'. This wine is certainly that.
And my third example is also £13.50 in the UK, in this case at Oddbins. Wageck, Tertiär Sauvignon Blanc trocken 2015 Pfalz comes in a burgundy bottle and is the most delicate of the trio with some herbal overlay. Bone dry with a hint of something mineral and impressive persistence, it's more Sancerre than Marlborough and, again, for wine drinkers not familiar with the current German wine scene, would probably be quite a revelation. This 12% wine is a Sauvignon Blanc for drinking with food whereas the other two would make unusual aperitifs. All three of these wines are best drunk sooner rather than later.