Plain Wine Volume 14: The Brightness Edition

Marcus Hauer
Nov 6 · 4 min read

With all the missing light and the rainy humidity getting into our bones, we present to you the ultimate November cure. From our favorite Southern German’s we have the sunniest Müller-Thurgau with an orange twist. Followed by a Lambrusco sparkler made in the most authentic way to fill your body with lots of happy Italian vibes. To get you ready for more festive days, we also have a very elegant Beaujolais with enough energy to keep you alive during those dark fall days.

Illustration by Anna Vu, @goodwinecrapdrawing

Enderle & Moll — 2018 Müller-Thurgau pur — Baden, Germany Sven Enderle and Florian Moll have a cult following for their reds or, more specifically, outstanding Pinot Noir from ancient vines. They met in school and recognized they have the same approach to winemaking and started in 2007 to realize their dream of owning a winery. Slowly they bought land on the slopes of the Black Forest, which the conventional wineries didn’t want anymore and ended up with very old and beautiful vines. They farm about six hectares, some organic and some biodynamic with the most care. Due to the small amounts they make, the wine is being allocated, and it is usually gone very quickly.

The grapes for this white wine are destemmed and pressed, except for 20 percent whole berries, which are kept in the juice and will continue to ferment. Everything, including the skins, will stay for 10 months in amphoras with the lees (dead yeast) until the wine is bottled. This whole process gives this an attractive light orange wine touch, while still keeping most of its freshness. It’s less flowery than your usual Müller-Thurgau and has more aromas of apple peel and pear. That juiciness continues further once you start drinking this bottled joy. This one works well with many fish dishes and grilled vegetables.

Le Grappin — 2018 Beaujoilais-Villages Nature — Gamay — Beaujolais, France When Andrew Nielsen, originally from Australia, was traveling the world because he worked in advertising, he had an epiphany. While drinking a bottle of Dujac Clos de la Roche (famous Burgundy wine), he decided to learn everything about winemaking and eventually to make his own wine. With some luck, Andrew ended up in the capital of Burgundy called Beaune and started working with some growers who owned parcels that are usually overlooked. He basically buys fruit from different growers, who are willing to experiment, and makes wine with their grapes in his cellar in Beaune. More recently, he expanded his sources to Beaujolais and the Mâcon.

The grapes for this red wine come from Lancié, which many consider an almost “Cru” region, as it is very close to Morgon and Fleurie. The vines grow on broken down granitic soil and are hand-harvested. They are placed as whole clusters in concrete vats with a small amount of foot crushed berries to release some juice. They keep the wine under CO2 cover in the typical Beaujolais style, which is called carbonic maceration. After a week, the wine is pressed, and it finishes fermentation in old Pinot Noir barrels and aged for 5 months. With a tiny bit of spritz and some very juicy licorice and cherry flavors, this wine is brilliant with many cold cuts and salads or even sushi.

Paltrinieri — 2018 Radice — Lambrusco di Sorbara — Emilia Romagna, Italy When Alberto Paltrinieri was asked by his father what he wanted to do with his life, he was quick to tell him he liked to continue making the same kind of sparkling wine the family has always made. His parents had been running the winery for 40 years after the grandfather had started it in 1926. In 1998, with his wife Barbara, he took over the winery and immediately made some mono-varietal Lambruscos, which was frowned upon back then. By now, they own 17 hectares and make various versions of the sparkling Lambrusco.

This Lambrusco is made with just one grape variety from grapes grown directly between two rivers, which Alberto says, is perfect for them to flourish. Lambrusco di Sorbara is considered to be the best grape for complex wines. The name Radice actually means roots, because this wine is made in a very traditional way. First, the directly pressed juice is fermented for two to three months. Then it is refermented with native yeast in the bottle for another three months. The result is a beautiful sparkler with perfect acidity to make it work with many foods and some flavors of rhubarb and grapefruit. Try it with a simple pasta al ragu or just to get the evening started.

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Plain Wine

A wine club for natural wine

Marcus Hauer

Written by

Head drinker at Plain. Disciplined designer. Pragmatic consultant. Assorted geek. Liberal foodie.

Plain Wine

A wine club for natural wine

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