If I think of a German winery that has lots of experience with blending red wines, the Knipsers come to mind. Just a little while ago I tasted their Cuvée X, a great blend of Cabernet Sauvignon/Franc and Merlot. Even though the Cuvée X can stand up to a good French Bordeaux, it is not exactly cheap either, so I was very curious to try the Gaudenz, a significantly cheaper red wine blend made by the Knipsers. In fact, it is surprisingly cheap. It also is a blend of different grapes, including the German variety of Dornfelder, and is matured in used barrique barrels for about a year.
If you like red wine with a dark, intensive colour - think blackcurrant juice -, you will find this one pretty to look at. If you like your red wine to show off smooth aromas that combine dark berries and spicy vanilla from the oak barrels, you will also find this nose pleasant, mixing together berries, cassis, rose petals, a hint of menthol and then the smooth butter, vanilla, sausage and spice combination. The oak aromas are well integrated and by no means overwhelming. And last, but not least, if you like to taste a smooth red wine international style you will also enjoy drinking this wine, with its smooth tannin, its berries and sweet fruit, its full (but not really heavy) body and medium to long finish.
So that's all great, you might say, what a marvellous wine. Well, not quite. It is indeed very smooth, easy to drink and enjoyable, but for me it lacked that bit of finesse, of surprise lurking out of the well made, international style. It was quite interesting to compare the reactions of two of my friends. Anna felt that the finish was 'a bit boozy, without being complex [enough]', to which Steve replied: 'You say that as if that is a bad thing!'
So basically, if you like your red wine fruity and smooth, done international style, you will find this very enjoyable, maybe a surprise as it comes from Germany, and not bad value at all. It was not quite the excitement I had hoped for though.