TheWineRambler "A German wine label is one of the things life's too short for" - Kingsley Amis

Winzerverein Hagnau, Hagnauer Burgstall, Weißburgunder trocken, 2010

Posted by Julian 28 Sep 2011

Growers' cooperatives, revisited. When we last mentioned them, we tried to be fair-minded and also point out their good and useful side, but ended up somewhat doubtful that particularly interesting wines could come out of them. Well, that only goes to show that the best of us sometimes have to eat our words, for the good wine growing people of Hagnau, a beautiful place on the Lake Constance shore, may have proved us wrong with a bottle of Pinot Blanc from their Burgstall vineyard.

Not up to our usual photography standard, I know. But the wine was up to scratch.Not up to our usual photography standard, I know. But the wine was up to scratch.

The deep straw colour is unexpected, but it's the nose, while maybe not Grand Cru material, that does let the associations flow freely: Ripe apple, flowery meadow, nuts, roasted vegetables, pumpkin, roasted pumpkin seeds especially, pistachios, melon slices. My goodness, this wine does smell like what might be my gourmet fellow Rambler's snack selection for a four-episode evening of The West Wing.

On the palate, a round and appealing wine. There is some residual sweetness that may not be absolutely necessary, but which doesn't bloat the wine unduly. So the band of brothers at Hagnau didn't go all crowd-pleasing sellout on us. Good on them so far. The fruit is nicely clear, with a buttery biscuit richness, not endlessly deep, but very typical of the variety. A very good food companion, this says pumpkin soup all over, a combination that, for me, will put an enjoyable Pinot Blanc over the hurdle stamped "great".

Growers' cooperatives

Happy to hear that you had such great success with what seems to be a wine of extremely good value. Leaving this particular Weißburgunder aside, I wonder whether any of those grower cooperatives target the export market. Over the past years, I may have seen one or two, but if my random experience is representative at least the likes of Hagnau that make wine of such great value should give it a go!