Rainer Schnaitmann Simonroth Lemberger 2019
The 2019 Simonroth Lemberger is dark with a sapphire red core. It smells of violets, thyme, juniper wood, laurel, black pepper and Parma ham, accompanied by red and black currants, sour cherries and plum compote. A racy Lemberger with great balance, due to the ripe acidity, fine fruit, velvety tannin structure and excellently integrated wood. Impressive length.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
At least four generations of Sauer’s have been active in viticulture. Initially they were simply selling wines in cask. In 1950 the family joined the Escherndorfer Co-op where they were primarily a source for grapes to complement the Escherndorfer wines. In 1979 Helga and Rainer started the Rainer Sauer estate and began selling estate wines under the Rainer Sauer label. They were making very good wines through 1994.
The 1995 harvest was a big turning point for the estate. The summer of 1995 was very wet. In the beginning of September rains continued and the grapes started to foul before they achieved physiological ripeness. The harvest started in October with the grapes almost ripe but the portion of foul grapes had increased from 25%-50%, all of the foul and mildew fruit was removed! The botrytis affected fruit was vinified after sedimentation of the juice and fermentation followed. The wines were bottled and at a very young stage were quite drinkable. However, after 8 – 12 months the color of the wine turned dark and developed unpleasant dull and musty components in both smell and taste. Any 1995’s still in inventory by 1997 were removed from the market. With this experience, the decision was made for a much more extreme and precise selection with all botrytised fruit removed. This late labor intensive manual harvest with several selective pickings per parcel, with careful handling of the fruit, is followed by slow controlled fermentation. This is why the Rainer Sauer wines are bright, clean, aromatic, subtle and pure, along with a wonderful expression of terroir.
Today, the estate is one of the great Silvaner producers in Franconia, or in the world!
Red wine from Germany, really? Yes, really. The country’s world class German Rieslings may be its vinous claim to fame, but 40% of wine production is red. The star is Pinot Noir, known as spätburgunder, which is the third most-planted grape in Germany. In the regions of Baden and Ahr, in fact, this varietal is actually number one. German Pinot Noir offers precisely delineated characteristics of juicy red fruit, spice and earthy minerality that stay light but vivid. Look for versions from Weingut Dautel, August Kesseler and Claus Schneider.
Another important German red wine is Blauer Portugieser, used for crisp, light-bodied wines. Dornfelder is also appreciated; it typically expresses a fun, grapey fruitiness that resembles Beaujolais. Smaller but still commercially significant plantings include Trollinger and Pinot Meunier. Even international varieties like Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot appear in some of the warmer regions.