Swabian Muscat, anyone? There's no doubt that solid old Swabia (that's "Württemberg" for you, in wine label terms) can do much: She can do somewhat dubious specialties like Trollinger and Samtrot, harmlessly light regional reds, but then she can also come out with powerful Rieslings and surprisingly high-brow Lembergers and Pinot Noirs. But dry Muscat, that feathery-light, elderflower whiff of springtime? Let's just say it takes a certain leap of faith. To be honest, if this offering had not come from Kistenmacher & Hengerer, an up-and-coming winery that has recently impressed us with the seriousness of their old-vines Lemberger, we might not have given it a chance either.
Have they actually pulled it off?
Delightfully so. Despite the pale colour, an immediate assault by the special forces of Muscat fruit: Elderflowers, gooseberries, lichees, armed with with ground nutmeg and freshly cut herbs. On the palate, all of the above, but with unexpected power and concentration (but then, it is a dry Spätlese) and a smooth, but creamily insistent finish of nougat and turkish delight. Plus, I was particularly pleased to note, none of the soapiness that can sometimes put me off the more "aromatic" whites like Muscat, Traminer or Gewürztraminer.
Something different, from somewhere completely different, and great value at that.