The Wine: Chardonnay Herrenstuck 2019
A level up from the Kaiserstuhl wines are the Herrenstück terraces, whose wines amplify the texture of their lower elevation counterparts without sacrificing freshness. This Chardonnay is so “terroir-driven” “you'd never believe it was a German wine” (said a fan of French wine). (source superglou.com)
The Producer: Holger Koch
Holger’s wines are grandpa chic—that is to say, they are how Burgundy used to taste when grandpa was just a fresh young lad: pre-global warming. It used to be that you’d struggle for ripeness in the Kaiserstuhl, even though it’s the warmest climate in Germany. But with rising temperatures throughout Europe, what used to be Burgundy now tastes like Weingut Holger Koch.
It makes sense; France is just twenty minutes away. In fact, the winery is so close to Alsace that during WWII, Holger’s grandmother could stand in the vineyard and see bombs going off across the Rhine River. Whether it’s geographical proximity or the selection massale cuttings from Puligny-Montrachet and Alsace (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Silvaner, Grauburgunder, Weißburgunder, and Spätburgunder) or the terroir-based approach, these wines are distinctly French with a German accent.
Indeed, Holger and his wife Gabriele seem to straddle cultural borders themselves. When you first meet them, you’re struck by how German they seem, but by the time you leave, you’re left wondering if they are in fact French. What at first appears structured and reserved reveals itself to be very generous—romantic, even. (source: superglou.com)
The Region: Swabia