The Wine: Riesling 2018
La Boutanche Riesling is a white natural wine from Swabia, Germany, made from 100% Riesling grapes harvested by hand. Talented winemaker Andi Knauss makes this wine as naturally as possible, with natural yeast all in stainless steel. Perfect to be enjoyed with light pasta or fish-based dishes.
The Producer: Andi Knauss
From Selection Massale's website
Whereas winemaking was a hobby for earlier generations at this domain (a way of winding down after a day's work at the nearby Mercedes-Benz factory), Andi Knauss has long known he wanted to be a vigneron.
Andi went to wine school and did an apprenticeship in Austria, where he learned how to tend the vineyards organically, and then went back to Germany where he took over at Weingut Knauss winery, in 2004. In less than 10 years, Andi has developed one of the most important and exciting estates we know of. The vineyards are worked naturally, and winemaking is careful and conscientious. Natural fermentation and minimal sulfur are the norms throughout the range, and some cuvees see no sulfur at all.
Andi, who is in his early thirties, runs a tight ship, making wine from over a hundred different plots in Strümpfelbach, the village where the winery is located, and a few surrounding villages in the hills around the river Rems. These hills are composed of different types of limestone of different eras, basically layered on top of each other, changing with the altitude, between 300 and 400 meters above sea level. Vineyard land here is expensive, but Andi has slowly built up the estate parcel by parcel, sometimes just a row, selecting the best sites to be blended into the "Selection" and "Reserve" bottlings.
After working with us for a couple years, Andi decided to try his hand at a few experiments, making some wines that he wanted to make, but that he wasn't sure the German market was ready for. So far these include a sparkling wine with no dosage, and Trollinger "Without all," a with no sulfur, yeast, sugars or any other additives of any shape or form (Andi even eschews adding a front label). Other goodies are on the way, including a sparkling blanc de noirs from a fine plot of Pinot Meunier (or, as it is known locally, Schwarzriesling). We are very proud of these wines (not least because it turned out that Germans do have a taste for more natural wines), and couldn't be happier with the way things have turned out.
Image Credits Brumaire
The Region: Swabia