Summer Of Swabia

6/24/15 -

(Jochen Beurer)

It's fun to drink serious wines from a winemaking region most Americans have never heard of and Germans simply scoff at. The area is Swabia--an area dear to our hearts and inspiring all because of two growers who have taken it upon themselves to take advantage of the hillside vineyards outside of Stuttgart. While most of their neighbors scorch the earth with RoundUp and sell to the local cooperatives, Jochen Beurer and Andi Knauss do the opposite. All of their offerings are a reflection of not just Swabian soils but of conscientious farming and understated winemaking. Jochen is certified biodynamic and Andi practices organic farming, and both have a careful, largely hands-off approach in the cellar. They also both compete with each other, pushing each other to excel at making wines that reflect the various soil compositions of their parcels. Even better, their wines are exceedingly thirst-quenching: they have depth without heft, and are fresh without ever being flashy.

Dry Rieslings with terrific finesse and balance are their main specialty, but we also love their versions of the local Trollinger grape. Most Swabian Trollinger is insipid plonk; chaptalized, overly-processed, fruity red wine with little reason to be consumed an hour's drive outside of Stuttgart. Yet Knauss and Beurer manage to make Trollinger that is light, bright and pure, perfect for warm-weather grilling and picnics. And nothing will put the sparkle in your summer like the recent disgorgement of Andi Knauss' Sekt Zero, which is even more complex and delcious than the first shipment. There were only 300 bottles produced from this run -- so get these Swabian sparkles while you can. Jonathan Kemp

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