Wine Tastings & Tours

For a tutored wine tasting or an expert guided tour of a wine region contact me via my Facebook page

Monday, 5 August 2013

The Wine Village of Sasbachwalden

The Wine Anarchist has traveled the length and breadth of Europe recently and is struggling to keep up with his posts, being constantly on the road.  On his travels he visited his parents in the south-west of Germany and took the opportunity to visit the 'Wine and Flower' village of Sasbachwalden on the north-western edge of the Black Forest as it opens up towards the Rhine Valley with sweeping views across the French border and the Vosge Mountains beyond in the German wine region of Baden.

Ever since the WA's parents moved to that part of the world it became kind of a family tradition to go to Sasbachwalden every now and then, not for the wine. but... for the most amazing Black Forest Gateaux at the Gasthof Hohenrode:

14 layers of chocolate and cream doused in kirsch eau de vie, served lying down on a dinner plate, should get anyone knowing what's good for them driving 100km across the mountains!!!

Anyway, always on the lookout for his news hungry readers, the Wine Anarchist also investigated the vineyards and wineries of this most picturesque of wine villages.  Apart from wine (and Black Forest Gateaux) the village is also famous for it's half-timbered houses decorated with an abundance of flowers.

And it is surrounded by vineyards, most famously the location 'Alde Gott', Old God in the local dialect.  If you think of Germany as mostly a white wine country, you'd be surprised that you would find more red wine in this region, which is one of the warmest spots in Germany and Pinot Noir or
Spätburgunder as it is known in Germany, leading the way.

Walking around the small town you can't fail to realise that wine plays a major role.  We strolled through the vineyards.  In the town we learned that the local wine queen also went on to become the national wine queen.

Sasbachwalden is also twinned with the Beaujolais village of Morgon, to which this little monument is dedicated to:

This old large wine press is displayed outside the council offices:

Anyway, it was time to taste some wine.  The Wine Anarchist had previously tasted some wines from the local cooperative and found both Rieslings and Pinot Noir most excellent.  So following his nose he decided to check out one of the smaller producers.  He happened to find the Weingut Richard Vierthaler, a small (7ha) 2nd generation family run operation.  

A very cheerful Richard Vierthaler welcomed us to his premises and a few wines were tasted.  85% of the vineyards are planted with Pinot Noir and it was clearly the strong point of this winery.  However we started with whites, as you do.  

The Rivaner Trocken 2008 had obviously been open for a couple of days and was loosing a little of its typical grapefruit and floral aromas.  The WA declined an offer to have a fresh bottle opened, so it shouldn't be judged to harshly.

Next came the Alde Gott Riesling Kabinett Trocken 2011.  It was quite an elegant dry wine, but with earthy undertones and fairly full-bodied.  

The Alde Gott Badisch Rotgold Kabinett 2011 was a deep-coloured rosé made from Pinot Noir.  The nose displayed pleasant wild strawberry and raspberry nose, but the slightly excessive residual sugar in this wine threw it a little out of balance.

The Alde Gott Spätburgunder Kabinett 2009 Jubilaeumswein was without a shadow of a doubt the star of the tasting.  It was bottled for the 50th anniversary of the company.  Medium bodied with good concentration and great Pinot fruit, starting to show some nice maturity.  It finished long and satisfying and is a great example what Germany can do with this grape variety.  

Noticing that the estate also produced some spirits or 'wasser' as they innocently call them around here, the WA had to taste the 'Topanimbur', a clear spirit distilled from the roots of the Jerusalem artichoke.  It had all the flavours of this divine vegetable, so he was ready to part with some cash to buy a bottle from his new friend Richard.  It turned out that the tasting bottle was the last one in stock, so the WA bought a bottle of Mirabellenwasser instead, an eau de vie made from the mirabelle plum, which was rather good too, full of lively fruit flavours.

Whilst the Wine Anarchist is of the opinion that the wines from the local coop are actually better, this winery and the whole village are definitely worth a visit, if for no other reason than to taste the most fantastic Black Forest Gateaux anywhere (did I mention it before...?).

Should you be planning to visit the area, there is a guided tour of the vineyards organised every first Saturday of the month between May and October at 1pm starting from the Alde Gott Winzer eg in the centre of town.  If you happen to pass this year, there is a big Wine festival or Winzerfest from the 3-6 October 2013.

Finally if you stuck for somewhere to stay, why not sleep in an 8000 litre wine barrel (minus the wine of course) like old Dyonisus. There is a farm above the town offering this unique experience with all mod-cons.

No comments:

Post a Comment