It is one of our favourite projects for the Wine Rambler that someday we should explain to you the German wine classification and labelling system in a coherent and mildly entertaining fashion. Today, however, we meet another clear-thinking winemaker who has willingly downgraded his own wine to the simplest category available (in this case: "Pfälzer Landwein") to be spared the bureaucratic nightmare otherwise required - in my humble experience, that step is always a good sign. Andreas Durst is a part-time winemaker only, his real job is to professionally photograph other winemakers, wines and vineyards, which he does so well that in the hipper part of the German wine scene, wine-related photography is simply synonymous with his name.
About this and about his wines, we won't say too much just now, because we hope to read and see a little more of Andreas on this blog soon (fingers crossed for a real treat). For now, let's turn to the dry Riesling from his small portfolio that he was nice enough to send ahead to Munich Wine Rambler HQ:
If I say it smells citrussy, that doesn't do justice to the fact that is does smell like an actual lemon. Not the most complex, but the clearest, purest Riesling scent I have encountered for a very long time, complemented by a nice fresh sea breeze, but nothing else. On the palate, not endlessly deep, concentrated or mineral, but again very straight and pure. As uncluttered as the label, it comes with taut, but ripe acidity. Although comparisons never really do justice to an individual wine, I would call this the classic dry Kabinett style of the Pfalz. It reminded me somewhat of the type perfected by the Mosbacher winery, coupled with a good Muscadet from the Loire.
A wine whose refreshing character and crystal-clear drinkability honours the last name of its maker, "Durst" being German for thirst, "der große Durst" then standing for, you worked it out by now, a state of enhanced thirst. We are suckers for cheap puns and feeble humour, as is well known, and when I tell you that one half of the Wine Rambler team once, this is true, ran a website solely devoted to the collection and documentation of real-life ridiculous names strangely fitting the occupations of their owners, you can imagine the unalloyed joy a winemaker so named would bring us. I'd like to imagine Andreas struggling with the manifest destiny of that pun-prone name, pushing and fighting against what he feels must someday come, until finally giving in to the inevitable, and do what he was put on earth to do. He certainly did the right thing in making full use of this gift.