JANUARY THIRST–STEFAN MEYER EIN LITER RHODT 2017 1L
Of all of Germany’s great wine regions, it’s not very likely that you’ve heard of the Pfalz. Located due south of the much heralded Mosel, the Pfalz sits just on the other side of the border from Alsace. Though Riesling is dominant here, the region is well-known for its reds as well as its whites. Similarly to Alsace, the Vosges mountain range here has a significant climatological impact in that it creates a rain shadow effect, contributing to a relatively warm, dry climate. The resulting wines are–generally– thought to be characteristically more full-bodied and concentrated than those of surrounding regions in Germany. This all being said, as an under-the-radar region, we’ve seen many small producers popping up who enthusiastically embrace the philosophies of natural winemaking, and those wines– as with this particular offering–are often intentionally light, crisp, and refreshing.
Stefan Meyer inherited his family’s estate in the Pfalz in 2011, and immediately began undertaking the conversion to organic farming. His Ein Liter Rhodt represents a super-drinkable red blend highlighting the Pfalz’s most important red varieties in equal proportions–Dornfelder, Sankt Laurent, and Portugieser. On the nose, you’ll be greeted with notes of zippy red fruits, black pepper, and funky earth. Moving to the palate, you’ll find this zesty red rich in tart cranberry fruit, light tannins, and loads of spice. This is the kind of red you’ll want to pair up with heart winter fair and drink chilled no matter how cold it may be outside.
As is often the case with by-the-wayside, underknown grapes like the three that make up this blend, Portugieser is known for its high yields and producing simple wines for early consumption. Dornfelder, on the other hand, is Germany’s second most popular red variety, known for producing dark, inky reds. Sankt Laurent (aka Saint Laurent) is most popular in the Czech Republic, but is gaining popularity in both Austria and Germany for its richly perfumed wines. Often compared to great Pinot Noir for its ability to simultaneously highlight intensity and elegance, it is the offspring of two well-known varieties–Zweigelt and Blaufrankisch. Blended together, you get freshness, perfume, and intensity, all in one.