Lemon peel, green apple, white blossoms, subtle minerality
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Dry, luscious white wine from Producer Andi Knauss. He works steep, shell-limestone slopes and takes much care with his vines. Natural fermentations and minimal sulfur are the norm throughout the range. The La Boutanche series is a collaboration with Selection Massale to create affordable natural wines
Farming: Certified organic
Whereas winemaking was a hobby for earlier generations at this domain (a way of winding down after a day's work at the nearby Mercedes-Benz factory), Andi Knauss has long known he wanted to be a vigneron. After wine school and a stage in Austria (where Andi learned how to work organically in the vineyard, and to care for the soil) he took over the reins at Weingut Knauss in 2004, and in less than 10 years, he has developed one of the most important and exciting estates in this region. The vineyards are worked naturally, and winemaking is careful and conscientious. Natural fermentations and minimal sulfur are the norm throughout the range, and some cuvees see no sulfur at all.
Andi, who is in his early thirties, runs a tight ship, making wine from over a hundred different plots in Strümpfelbach, the village where the winery is located, and a few surrounding villages in the hills around the river Rems. These hills are composed of different types of limestone of different eras, basically layered on top of each other, changing with the altitude, between 300 and 400 meters above sea level. Vineyard land here is expensive, but Andi has slowly built up the estate parcel by parcel, sometimes just a row, selecting the best sites to be blended into the "Selection" and "Reserve" bottlings.
About La Boutanche (from the importer):When we were first starting out, we quickly became disappointed with the lack of good natural wine in the $20 range. Not being the kind of people to say ‘well, it is what it is’, we got to work thinking about how we could remedy this situation. So, we started talking with our producers and, already knowing what we wanted - native yeast fermentations, low or zero SO2 additions, and the like; basically pure unadulterated glou glou that we could put into a liter-sized screw-top bottle and would be a great introduction to natural wine - it didn’t take long for us to find winemakers who were willing to partner with us on this project.
Riesling is the great vine variety of Germany. Riesling has suffered in an era when 'buttery oaky" has been the desired characteristics in respected and highly valued whites.
In the 1960s and 1970s, the name Riesling was debased by being applied to a wide range of white grape varieties of varied and doubtful quality. It has also been associated with sweetness and lacks the please-all qualities of Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay
Today, thanks to climate change and more widespread determination to increase quality in wine, fine dry Riesling is common in Germany. But while the average residual sugar in Riesling is declining fast, the variety is distinguished for its ability to produce great sweet wines due to it's naturally high level of tartaric acid, which provides a dependable counterbalance to higher residual sugars.
Nationally and internationally award-winning wines establish the reputation of the Remstal as a wine-growing region. The cultivated types of wine include high-quality and new grape varieties such as Acolon, Cabernet Mitos or Cabernet Dorio, which are often offered directly by younger winemakers. At the same time, old varieties such as Riesling, Kerner, Pinot Noir, Lemberger and Trollinger are produced, preserved and cared for. With only 10 percent of the cultivation area in the Remstal, 45 percent of the top businesses in Baden-Württemberg are at home. The majority of the 780 hectares of vineyards in the Remstal are farmed after work; the part-time winemakers are usually organized in one of the two large Remstalkellerei cooperatives or the Fellbacher Weingärtnern. Here the grapes are pressed and expanded. The Remstalkellerei is one of the largest cooperative wineries in Germany.
Tasting: Lemon peel, green apple, white blossoms
Pairing: White fish or creamy pasta dishes