Free tasting | Friday, January 19, 2018 | 5-7PM
The grape varietal Sylvaner is like a python: muscular, sleek, and powerful. If you haven't heard of this varietal, don't fret, it's one of the intriguing grapes grown in northern Europe, primarily in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and France. This productive white-wine grape was once the most widely planted vine in Germany (where it’s spelled Silvaner), and its origins date back to over 500 years ago in Lower Austria. Silvaner grapes are tiny green-yellow tinged berries, which produce light, soft wines with pleasant but subtle aromas – and then, bang! The juicy lemony acidity and flavors of Sylvaner takes hold. People are taken aback when drinking Sylvaner – while subtle in the nose, it is a full-bodied and a zesty wonder. Silvaner floats like a butterfly, but stings like a bee!
2016 Domaine Rietsch, C’est un blanc – Alsace, France, $24
The Rietsch family has lived in the hillsides of Mittelbergheim since the 17th century. While they have held positions in viticulture and cooperage through the generations, they didn't create their own winery until the 1970's. The current winemakers at the helm are Jean-Pierre and Sophie Rietsch who are passionate about natural winemaking. Alongside their unique wine labels, Jean-Pierre and Sophie always have a project to experiment with on the side. This Sylvaner and Riesling blend is the result of such past experimentation and it’s so divine that you'll wonder why you haven't tried a this blend before! It's full-bodied and rich with saline and lime notes.
2009 Odinstal 350 N.N. Silvaner Trocken – Pfalz, Germany, $23
The 20-hectare Odinstal winery is located in a plush forest in Wachenheim at 350 meters above sea level, making it one of the highest elevated vineyards in the Pfalz. The winery was founded by Johann Ludwig Wolf, at the beginning of the 19th century, and the Hensel family has owned the historic property since 1998. Thomas Hensel converted the vineyard to all biodynamics in 2006. All of the grapes are hand-harvested late in the year to guarantee physiological ripeness and yields are kept purposefully low – only 2500 total cases are produced in the entire winery. This Sylvaner mimics a fantastic Savennieres (think dry Chenin Blanc), full of notes of citrus, apple, wool, camembert, and gripping minerality.
2015 Horst Sauer 'Just’ Silvaner – Franken, Germany, $12
Luckily for us, Franken is known for creating Silvaner with crackling intensity and depth. Horst Sauer runs this organic 37-acre winery with his daughter, Sandra. A stylish Sylvaner, grown on loess and loam soil, has savory notes of pear and gooseberry.
2016 2Naturkinder Silvaner Pet-Nat – Franken, Germany, $24
Franken (or Franconia) is the only wine region in the federal state of Bavaria, the home of Munich. When one thinks of Bavaria, tucked in the southeastern corner of Germany, beer springs to mind. Yet, the shell-limestone laden soil in Bavaria attracted Melanie Drese and Michael Völker to try a hand at winemaking as their second careers. Actually, their 2Naturkinder’s grapevines have become so strong due to the fatty, fertile layer of clay in which they’re grown, that these vines have become increasingly difficult to work with! Their vineyard is organic, and Melanie and Michael use all natural winemaking methods in and out of the cellar. Their Sylvaner Pet-Nat is wild and craggy with gumption and has notes of green apples and white flowers. Pictures of 2Naturkinder's October 2017 Silvaner harvest are here below.