Sona, St. Martiner Baron, Riesling Kabinett feinherb, 2009

Sona, St. Martiner Baron, Riesling Kabinett feinherb, 2009

Sometimes you have no idea what you are looking at. The other day I pulled a bottle out of a newly arrived cask of wine that I hadn't actually ordered - nor had I heard of the winery before! Turns out that the wine merchant had sneakily squeezed it into the box as a thank you for a good customer. Herr Behringer also asked me for my opinion.

Following the recent debate on neutrality of wine bloggers I should probably add that this is the first wine we have received from Behringer without paying, that he did not ask us for a review and that the wine is not in his portfolio (I wonder if he plans to change that though). Anyway, Mr Behringer, here goes.

The Riesling greeted us with a light and fresh bouquet - yeasty, citrus fresh with lemon and peach and a little grapefruit. Thus encouraged, we stopped the careful sniffing (using a hand-waving technique I had learned in chemistry class) and dared to use our tongue on the experiment. Again it was yeast saying hello first, introducing a wine that was fresh, in fact very refreshing, light and yet crisp with noticeable acidity. Over time (with more exposure to air and warming up a little) the fruit became more pronounced, juicy stone fruit with some sweetness and faint bitter notes. Even then the finish was driven by the noticeable acidity, embedded in lovely mineral notes.

Very pleasant to drink with its refreshing acidity accompanied by a little sweetness, the Sona wine instantly won the approval of my Riesling rookie drinking companion. As you will have guessed I also found it very enjoyable, with the only criticism being that at moments I wasn't quite sure what to think of the faint bitter notes in the background.

Following this experience I had a look at the winery's website, but it has not been updated in a few years. Apparently, it is a fairly new venture, specialising on Riesling, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. Dominik Sona is not a newcomer though and has already earned a name as a winemaker working with other wineries.


Submitted by Simon Jones Tuesday, 12/04/2011

"Dominik Sona is not a newcomer though and has already earned a name as a winemaker working with other wineries."

Indeed - one of them being being Wachenheim-based JL Wolf, co-owned by the ubiquitous Ernst "Ernie" Loosen. According to what I've read previously, he is thought quite highly of in the Pfalz but has had less time on his hands to devote to his own winery of late due to the challenges of the job in Wachenheim.

Submitted by torsten Tuesday, 12/04/2011

In reply to by Simon Jones

Thanks for sharing that, Simon. I knew he was working for/with Ernie Loosen, but the part where he is very busy would explain why the website isn't looked after properly. But then I find this is the issue with many German wineries, even some top ones...

Submitted by Anna Katharine Monday, 31/10/2011

Lucky you! I was introduced to Sona's Spätburgunder by a friend during a visit to France, and have been scrambling to source his wines ever since. The Sona project is personal label, and hard to get- but I've really enjoyed all of his wines- Riesling and Pinot noir- that I've tasted. His current full-time gig is Koehler-Ruprecht, which, unfortunately, isn't any easier for me to find in the US.

In a similar vein, I'm glad I stumbled onto this blog- nice job!

Submitted by torsten Tuesday, 01/11/2011

In reply to by Anna Katharine

I can imagine living in the US makes it even more difficult to find the more unusual wines. It is hard enough in the UK, but at least the delivery charges are lower and most wine merchants and wineries (but sadly not all) do deliver. I could put you in touch with a few people in the US wine trade who may, may be able to help - but with the strange system you have in place for who can ship wine to which state etc. I am not sure how easy it would be. It might be easier to email Sona directly, maybe they will ship a few bottles to you. Again, happy to help here.

And thanks for the compliment, much appreciated!

Submitted by Anna Katharine Tuesday, 01/11/2011

In reply to by torsten

It's really fascinating what gets imported to the US and what doesn't-but we definitely get some unusual European wines--for better or worse! I'll enjoy reading your recommendations and figuring out what I can find at my local shop.

Coincidentally, I did manage to work out a way to get some Sona shipped to me, and received my half-case yesterday- including a couple bottles of Spätburgunder. Just in time for the holidays...


Submitted by torsten Wednesday, 02/11/2011

In reply to by Anna Katharine

Happy you have been successful - with the Sona Spätburgunder you are actually ahead of me as I have not yet had the chance. So enjoy and cheers!