When I was studying for WSET Level 2, one of the more difficult regions for me was Germany. The language is SO different from English and Spanish—it’s just a bit harsh on my ears. So whenever I see German wine, I try to grab it and improve on my wine education. The latest was Battenfeld-Spanier Weissburgunder Trocken 2018.
This wine comes from Rheinhessen winemaker couple Carolin Spanier-Gillot and Hans Oliver Spanier. Hans Oliver took over the family vineyard in the Hohen-Hülzen in Rhineland-Palatinate in 1991. Caroline took over her parents’ winery in 2002. Now, they run together the two wineries Battenfeld-Spanier and Kühling-Gillot.
Since 2005, Hans has employed organic viticulture with biodynamic methods. They do not pollute the soil and vines with synthetic fertilizers and they employ light processes to help with climate change, among other things.
Battenfeld-Spanier is in Hohen-Sülzen, which lies on the southernmost tip of the Wonnegau, near Worms, and the region is famous for its calcareous subsoils. It’s full of limestone, so the vines must root in this porous and water-storing rock for its nutrients. Due to the Donnersberg (the highest peak of the Palatinate region of Germany), which intercepts the weather from the west, the Wonnegau is in the rain shadow and summers are the driest. The limestone keeps the water during these dry times and keeps the vines well-watered. The deeply rooted vines bring out the stone aromas rather than the fruit aromas.
This wine is 100% Pinot Blanc. It is mostly matured in steel tanks (80% steel tank – 20% large wooden barrel). It is pale yellow in color with an expressive nose. I smelled ripe apple, lemon, a little minerality, and the slightest hint of pertroleum. I carried onto the palate with some additional pear and stone fruit. It was dry, medium bodied, high acidity, with a medium-long finish. It was crisp and refreshing. Perfect for a day in the sun. I got this one from the Vinya Pop-Up, I believe for under $25.