Volume 29: The Umami Edition

Illustration by Anna Vu (@goodwinecrapdrawing)
Waiting for Tom weiss
Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay
Burgenland, Austria

The name of the "Waiting for Tom" wine came from a story where Stefanie would always wait for the Tom's in her life (Lubbe & Shobrook). With 70 percent Pinot Blanc, this white wine is slightly different from previous years when Chardonnay was dominating. After harvest at the end of August and beginning of September, the grapes underwent a couple of steps. Half of them went into a 2-day maceration, giving off little tannins from the skins. All the Chardonnay grapes went into a 7-day maceration as whole berries, similar to carbonic maceration. The remaining grapes were directly pressed. They fermented together in used oak for 9 months, parts also in amphorae. After which, the wine was bottled without any filtration. Very floral on the nose with tropical hints added by some super creamy subtle papaya and some zesty bitterness in the finish line. I'm tempted to suggest raw seafood or soups with this, but even a bitter salad might perfectly combine.

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Staffelter Hof
Purple Rain
Mosel, Germany

This is a very special Pet Nat, as it feels more like a Lambrusco. Made with Regent, a very dark red grape, it also shows in the wine. After the harvest in 2018, the juice was fermented on the skins for a week. A small part was bled off after 2 days. This technique, also called Saignée, is common to concentrate red wines, and as a byproduct, people use this juice for rosé winemaking. After the initial maceration, it was pressed and spent 10 months in traditional German fuder barrels to age. In 2019 another part of fresh juice was added to start fermentation in the bottle. First off, you're greeted by a mix of blackberry and blueberry. When drinking, you might taste some of the red fruit combined with light tannins and barnyard. If you have any gamey food planned, this is your best bet. Otherwise, anything greasy or stinky cheeses will work with this. Just drink it cold.

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Enderle & Moll
Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir
Baden, Germany

Not exactly what you would think of as an entry-level wine. This red is a perfect example of a wine that's made slowly. It starts with 30-year-old vines planted in sandstone and limestone. After the harvest in September, the whole clusters ferment for about a month and then age for a year in used Burgundy barrels. There is not much else happening except for a tiny bit of sulfur at bottling. On the nose, you get a wild berry mix, and once you have it in your mouth, it feels like an earthy and herbal cherry cocktail with a little spritz of licorice. It's a perfect match for any typical French bistro fare like steak with fries or just a potato gratin.

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