jamie goode's wine blog: Dornfelder

Thursday, September 03, 2009


I remember years back, when I was first getting into wine. I was living in Wallington, newly married to Fiona, and I bought my wine from the Wine House, a now deceased independent merchant, run by Morvin and Sue Rodker.

Fiona wouldn't drink red wine. [She still won't.] It was a bit of a problem, because these were the days before I could look a bottle in the eye alone. Morvin recommended Dornfelder to me as a way to convert non-red-wine drinkers, much as you might tempt a vegetarian with bacon.

Why? Because Dornfelder has little in the way of tannins. It gives you colour without firm structure. The grape was first released in 1979 after a concentrated breeding program by German scientists (read more here). Currently, Germany has more than 8000 hectares of this variety. It has also met with some success in the UK (indeed, I have made wine from Dornfelder).

So here's an organic take on Dornfelder, that's a tiny bit weird, but which I'm actually quite enjoying.

Weingut Klaus Knobloch Dornfelder Trocken 2006 QbA Germany
13.5% alcohol, organic. Cherry red colour. Sweetly aromatic with smooth red cherry fruit nose. The palate has really soft tannins with fresh cherry fruit, lovely sweet purity, and a lovely framing sappy greennes that doesn't obscure the sweet fruit. Drinkable and fun: what Beaujolais should do more often. 88/100 (9.99 Vintage Roots)


At 8:57 PM, Anonymous Ms. Drinkwell said...

So great to see a post about Dornfelder. I've had some good ones, but we see far too few of them in the States, sadly.

At 11:50 PM, Anonymous Dave E said...

Valckenburg Dornfelder sits on a low shelf in our store. We do nothing to promote it. We never put it on special. It sells like crazy, because it is the only off-dry red in the store. And when I say "sells like crazy" I am not exaggerating: We've had orders for up to 10 cases at a time.


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