SEEING RED

HARPERS · November 2004

SEEING RED

"Germany's red wines are of the country's bestkept secrets. Christian Davis went to meet top producers in the Pfalz and Baden and found unexpected quality and export potential…Brothers in arms: Still in Laumersheim, ist on to Weingut Knipser, where Werner and Volker Knipser farm 30 ha and produce between 160,000 and 240,000 bottles a year, of which 50% is red. The Knipsers have been pioneers in Germany of the use of small oak barrels, and they age their reds for nearly two years. Before ageing they use selected yeasts and punch down the cap several times a day to gain good extraction. The oak for barrels comes from a mix of French and German coopers. With a new € 2.5 million winery and barrel store taking the brothers’ production capacity up to 400,000 litres, they have been experimenting with growing Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Syrah. Volker explains that the winery does export a little of its wine to Tanners in the UK. In the tasting room, we try a magnum of 2001 Dornfelder following by a 2001 Saint Laurent.

The first gives cherries, with a smokiness from new barrels and a slightly harsh note on the finish; while the second comprises jammy red fruit and good acidity. These are followed by a 2001 Cuvée X, the X coming from Bordeaux, for this is a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc blend. A big wine with good structure and length, there are 8,000 bottles made. The 1999 Cabernet has good varietal characteristics – concentrated and slightly earthy, with dark fruit, blackcurrant and cherry (there’s lots of cherry in German reds). We finish with some 2000 and 2001 Spätburgunder, which show good concentration and subtle aromas."

Anschrift

Weingut Knipser
Johannishof
Hauptstraße 47
D-67229 Laumersheim/Pfalz
Tel 06238.742 Fax 06238.4377

Öffnungszeiten

Unsere Öffnungszeiten:
Montag bis Freitag 10 – 12 und 14 – 18 Uhr
Samstag 10 – 16 Uhr
Sonn- und Feiertage geschlossen

Weingut Knipser
Johannishof
Hauptstraße 47
D-67229 Laumersheim/Pfalz
Tel +49.6238.742 Fax +49.6238.4377

Opening Hours:
Monday – Friday 10am – 12 and 2pm – 6pm
Saturday 10am – 4pm
Closed on Sundays and bank holidays

VDP. Die Prädikatsweingüter