Zehnthof Luckert, Müller-Thurgau trocken, 2011
I want to believe. Not in UFOs, Armageddon or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, but in wine - in all the lost causes, regions and plucky little grape varieties that no one trusted to ever produce anything of worth. I want to believe, to give them a chance, to celebrate their triumph over the expected. One grape variety that needs such a triumph is Müller-Thurgau. Looking at the statistics you would not believe it, after all MT is the second most planted grape variety in Germany.
However, no one loves it as it is seen as the boring main ingredient for German bulk wine, not even worthy to be mentioned on the label. Can we still believe in it?
For many years I have ignored Müller-Thurgau, I have to admit. Not only is its reputation not very good, it is also hard to find varietal bottles from Germany. Italian MTs display the Müller-Thurgau name proudly, but in Germany it is hidden shamefully. However, there are also signs of hope. In 2010 co-Rambler Julian lit a beacon of hope in in his must read piece What the **** is Müller-Thurgau? And is it ever any good? A Wine Rambler investigation, following which I have decided I will believe in Müller-Thurgau.
The first steps on this quest lead me to the south-eastern wine region of Franken (Franconia), and to a respectable producer whose wines we love. Full of hope I unscrewed the cap, to be greeted by faint yeast aromas, citrus and apple notes, pepper and nutmeg and a certain floralness - at first this had a cheap touch which I am tempted to call "soft-porn floralness" but over time that impression went away. Not unpleasant at all, but also neither deep, exciting or particularly charming.
In fact, this is almost how you could summarise my overall impression; but let's be more specific. Or as specific as the Franconian MT allows. Luckerts managed to give it a certain roundness and a not unpleasant texture with peppered peach moments, vegetables flavours and a nice nutmeg finish, but whenever I felt I was getting into something really interesting it slipped away. The drinking experience was somewhat oscillating, if that makes any sense. At one moment I felt the MT showed grip and the next I was in soapy soft drink territory or found myself irritated by an unpleasant sharpness. The latter was much reduced on day two and never prominent, but enough to be noticeable.
Even so Luckerts' Müller-Thurgau is not a bad wine, but it lacked the excitement to get me over the aspects I felt less warmly about. If you don't mind those you will find a reliable, every-day drinking wine to be served on the right occasion. However, looking at the price I am not sure why you would want to - we are already in the territory where a nice Riesling, Silvaner or Pinot Blanc can be had. And that is something I don't have to believe in.