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Four from Select German Wines

Clive Perry's mail order business specializes in German wines that he sources himself from small producers. The list is pretty compact, but if these four wines he sent me to try are anything to go by, he's bought well. One of his marketing slogans is that German wine 'doesn't have to be sweet, and it doesn't have to be Riesling', and these four wines -- four different grapes, four different regions -- were all quite individual and interesting in their own way. With names like these, and given the current image of German wine, these are never going to be easy to sell, but I think they're worth trying. Minimum order is six, and the delivery charge is already built into the prices.

Erich Schauss Muller Thurgau Monzinger Frühlingsplätzchen Kabinett 1997, Nahe
AP No 7 748 062 12 98 Initially quite spritzy on opening. There's attractive apple and pear fruit on the nose, together with some smoky notes. The palate shows a good density of pear-like fruit, a touch of residual sugar (giving a rounded texture) and a spicy finish. There's nice balance here, giving a clean, rounded wine. Very good (£8.45 Select German Wines) 10/01

Max Markgraf Durbacher Schoss Staufenberg Spätburgunder Weissherbst Kabinett 1998, Baden Ortenau
AP No 101 4799 This Pinot Noir rosé is a relatively full orange/pink colour. The nose is quite interesting, with a herby character and some subtle sweet strawberry fruit. The palate shows good concentration, nice balance and a touch of spiciness. After a while a honeyed edge emerges, but it's quite dry on the finish, although there's probably a touch of residual sugar here giving a rounded edge to the palate. It's a classy, characterful rosé. Very good+ (£8.25 Select German Wines) 11/01

Arnsteiner Gült Exquisit Gewürztraminer Spätlese Trocken 1999, Rheinhessen
AP No. 4311 070 014 00 (13% alcohol) A interesting an unusual wine: it's quite Alsace-like, but reminds me more of a rich Alsace Tokay Pinot Gris than a Gewürztraminer. It has a sweet, floral, honeyed nose with a musky, herby edge. It's quite striking, with a smoky bacon edge. The palate is thick-textured and rounded, with some honeyed sweetness, although it finishes dryish. There's obviously quite a bit of alcohol. Very good+ (£8.95 Select German Wines) 10/01

Weingut Horst Wachenheimer Königswingert Kerner Auslese 1997, Pfalz
AP No 5142 226 13 98 Full yellow colour. The nose shows pear fruit with a smoky edge. On the palate balance is the key here: there's rich, grapey pear and peach fruit, just enough sweetness, and a lovely texture. Delicious for sipping on its own. No real complexity, but very attractive. Very good+ (£9.95 Select German Wines) 11/01

Contact details:
Select German Wine
9 Riverside Combwich, Somerset, TA5 2QY
E-mail: details@selectgermanwine.co.uk
Web: www.selectgermanwine.co.uk

see also: tasting notes on German wines

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