Illustration by Anna Vu (@goodwinecrapdrawing)

Volume 30: The Blender Edition

Albrecht Schwegler
Endless Summer
Trollinger, Muskattrollinger
Württemberg, Germany

Two absolutely native grape varieties make up this particular Pet Nat. These are usually not associated with high-end wines but do show their full potential in this bubbly. Endless Summer in March? Yes, who wouldn't want a little bit of summer in March? After the harvest in September, the wine spends 2 weeks on its skins for its beautiful color. Still happily fermenting, it went into the bottle late in October and finished this process until spring when it was disgorged. It's a little bit of kitsch in the bottle. With lots of wild berry aromas and red pepper in the nose, it shows some greener strawberry notes in the mouth, followed by satisfying bitterness. This one has enough punch to work with your first barbecue or will also work in the park with some petit fours. If worst comes to worst, you can even drink this while ice skating.

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Würzer, Faber, Bacchus, Müller-Thurgau, Silvaner, Riesling
Rheinhessen, Germany

This orange wine cuvée is made with grapes, which are partly grown together in the vineyard. All grapes and plots ferment individually. Two-thirds of the grapes are left with their skins for two weeks to ferment, which adds some good structure and tannins (the bitter stuff) to the wine. The Riesling and Silvaner juices are directly pressed, and then all are left for roughly 10 months in barrels. With the assemblage, he decides what ratio he uses for all the grapes. This year the wine is a little cloudier and less reductive after opening. Instead, it greets you with an exotic cocktail mixed with herbal tea. Once you taste it, a beautiful Grapefruit says 'hi,' and a grippy acidity helps you along. This makes it a flexible food wine that you can have with spicy Chinese food or a simple roast chicken.

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Max Sein Wein
Trio Sauvage
Silvaner, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay
Baden, Germany

Ok, maybe this isn't a real red, but it isn't an orange wine either. But, who cares. It's a mix of grapes that were all harvested in late September. They grow on shell limestone with a south-western orientation, which delivers quite outstanding grapes for ageable wines. The Silvaner was directly pressed, and the Pinot Gris and the Chardonnay got a skin contact of 10 days. This explains the copper color as Pinot Gris turns reddish if you leave to macerate it, as the skin has red pigments. After this initial period, it is left for 10 months on the lees to continue fermentation and age in used barrels. The result is already impressive, but if you feel like you can keep this wine for a long time in your cellar. Right now, you get some beautiful floral notes mixed with some slight buttery tones. In the mouth, it's just a super balanced sweet citrus with rose petals and a salty, bitter finish. It's a smasher you should enjoy with not too spicy food or maybe even some German blander food.

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