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The bocksbeutel is back!

February 3, 2016 Leave a comment

The 2014 Weingut Hans Wirsching, Iphofer, Silvaner Trocken, Franken is a lively wine with pure white fruit flavors and a chalky finish.  It drinks best over two nights when it offers up some fat and dried herbs. It is a good example of acidity and minerality which I recommend you drink now.  This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.

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2014 Weingut Hans Wirsching, Iphofer, Silvaner Trocken, Franken – $17
Imported by Rudi Wiest. Alcohol 12%.  The white fruit flavors became nutty in the middle followed by a chalky stone finish.  The wine is rather lively, almost with a prickle, from acidity that carries it through the finish.  It does take on some fat and ripeness at the start followed by dried herbs and some tannins.  ** Now – 2017.

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Franconian wine, hipster juice since the 19th century

September 17, 2014 1 comment

My first widespread experience with German wine took place in the early 1990s when I spent a fair amount of time in Frankfurt.  My host family’s cellar was naturally filled with the squat, flattened wine bottles known as bocksbeutel.   I do not recall any of the producers or vintages but after all these years it is the bocksbeutel that I strongly recall.   In the 19th century Franconian wines in bocksbeutel were very popular in England.  “Stein wine” was was considered the best of the Franken wines and was often the most expensive.  The Prince of Wales was called to the bar to join the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple in 1861.[1]  for the celebratory meal cut glass wine goblets were commissioned.   From these goblets they “quaffed” 1781 Sherry, 1851 Chateau d’Yquem, 1846 Stein wine, and 1846 Cabinet Steinberger.   John Louis William Thudichum wrote that Stein wine was in part special because that the rays of the sun reflected off of the river thus supplementing that which fell directly on the Steinberg vineyard.[2] He also wrote that much of what was sold in London was not true Stein wine.  This “certain notoriety” was perhaps due “to the peculiar bottles” in which it was sold. [3]

IPHOFEN, EINERSHEIMERTOR. Image from  Weingut Hans Wirsching.

IPHOFEN, EINERSHEIMERTOR. Image from Weingut Hans Wirsching.

Franconian wine periodically appears on the shelves at MacArthur Beverages.  It is never in great quantity so they often sell out quickly.  With that in mind I grabbed a bottle, chilled it down, then opened it up right away.  Weingut Hans Wirsching has been involved with wine since at least the early 17th century.  The vineyards are primarily planted to Silvaner perhaps due to consideration of it as making the “true” Franconian wine.  The 2012 Hans Wirsching, Iphofer, Silvaner, Trocken, Franken was made from fruit sourced at the old wine town of Iphofen.  The wine was floral on the nose followed by lively, prickly flavors in the mouth.  It then morphed to become creamy and dense with minerality.  I really enjoyed this so I strongly recommend you try this wine. The price is attractive and the opened bottle will last the work week.  This wine was purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

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2012 Hans Wirsching, Iphofer, Silvaner, Trocken, Franken – $17
Imported by Rudi Wiest. This wine is 100% Silvaner.  Alcohol 12%.  The color was a very pale yellow.  The nose bore white, floral fruit that was not infused.  In the mouth was a very lively burst of flavors that was matched by a prickle on the tongue.  The wine then took on minerals with a creamy finish.  The creamy and dense flavors persisted through the aftertaste.  *** Now-2019.

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[1] THE PRINCE OF WALES AT THE MIDDLE TEMPLE. (1861, Nov 03). The Observer (1791- 1900) Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/475034895?accountid=14784
[2] Thudichum, John Louis William. A Treatise on the Origin, Nature, and Varieties of Wine. 1872. URL: http://books.google.com/books?id=48soAAAAYAAJ&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false
[3] Journal of the Royal Society of Arts, Volume 21. 1873. URL: http://books.google.com/books?id=vLwoAQAAMAAJ&pg=PR6#v=onepage&q&f=false

Kabinett from Franken and Mosel

October 25, 2011 Leave a comment

You do not see too many Franken wines at MacArthurs.   I drank my fair share of Franken Riesling and Sylvaner during my visits to Frankfurt back in my university days. While I have been itching to drink some Franken Riesling I quickly grabbed this Scheurebe when I saw the ubiquitous bocksbeutel.  The bocksbeutel is a flattened bottle that has been used for Franken wine since the 18th century.

Iphofen Vineyard, Image by fotoernst (flickr)

These two bottles were purchased at MacArthurs.  The Weingut Reuscher-Haart is a Terry Theise/Michael Skurnik Wine available for $17.  The Weingut Hans Wirsching is imported by Rudi Wiest and available for $20. The Weingut Reuscher-Haart was leftover from our Gold Cup party. It is a solid value that held up well over several days.  The Weingut Hans Wirsching is not to be messed with!  Scheurebe makes for intense wines and I suspect this bottle could hold up to many different dishes.  I do not have enough experience to know if this is a particularly good Scheurebe or example of Franken Scheurebe but if you have never had either, then I recommend you try a bottle.

2007 Weingut Reuscher-Haart, Piesporter Goldtropfchen, Riesling Kabinett, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer
On the third night this wine was straw in color.  The fruit is delivered as a rich burst in the mouth with flavors of sweet, yellow peach balanced by fresh acidity.  The flavors become cool and almost creamy in the mouth.  There are enjoyable, sweet spices in the finish. Finished with a glass stopper and at 8.5% ABV. *** Now-2017.

2010 Weingut Hans Wirsching, Iphofer Kronsberg, Scheurebe Kabinett Trocken, Franken
This was a pale straw color in the glass.  The medium-strength nose pierces through with aromas of dry herbs and minerals.  In the mouth, the lighter white fruit attacks the tip of the tongue with acidity, citrus flavors, minerals, and a touch of spice as it warms up.  The finish puckers the mouth making for bracing stuff!  Finished with a screwcap and at 12% ABV. ** Now-2017.