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Bottling Line in a Garage

Lovely neighbourhood visit with friends at Albrecht Schwegler Winery in Korb.  You expect some glamour at Korb´s leading estate? Not here. You enter the barrel cellar through the unglamorous entrance of a conventional business house. I guess it is the only winery with the bottling line located in their double garage. This is part of the family story, because the winery was founded as a part-time boutique venture in 1990 by Albrecht Schwegler. 

Today, the family produces an impressive lineup from their 12 ha vineyard area. Aaron – who leads the estate with his wife Julia since 2016 – works organically and doesn’t filter most of its collection. 

The Whites

The white range (we tasted the 2018 wines) starts with the crisp mineral lean Riesling with a lingering salty finish from different plots. The Riesling “Alte Reben” (old vines) amplifies the intensity and length of the “entry” Riesling. It adds some herbal and hay notes to its complexity, and its textural grip on the palate screams for some decent food. So does the Grauburgunder Chardonnay blend. The wine shows an exciting interplay between ripe yellow fruit and a fresh greenish hint. Rich stone fruit and white peach dominate the Chardonnay Reserve which attracts with its smooth texture and an appealing hazelnut finish. 

The Rosés 

Aaron also takes the Rosé category seriously. Wine enthusiasts who want to dip their toe into the “PetNat” world should try his “Endless Summer.” The attractive fizz of this Trollinger and Muskattrollinger blend combines fruit with texture and invites quickly to the next sip.  For me, this wine is even more interesting than the still wine Rosé, which is also a safe bet for everybody who likes crisp straight forward Rosé.  

The Reds

The red wines start with the “d’ r Oifache” (Swabian slang for “the simple one”) which is dominated by the local variety Trollinger. It’s a straight forward no-frills, strawberry, cherry driven wine to go with food and to fuel conversations with good friends. Nevertheless, the layered spices and the well-crafted tannins add some seriousness to this 1-litre bottle – which we call with a twinkle in the eye a “Swabian Magnum.” 

The “Beryll” (we tasted the 2016 wines) marks on step up on the ladder. Its a blend from Zweigelt, Cab Franc, Cab Sauvignon and Merlot from 13 different plots around Korb and Schnait. Dark cherries, boysenberries, plums and Christmas spices framed by polished tannins and refreshing acidity. 

The “Saphir” follows in the lineup. The blend from Cab Franc, Zweigelt, Merlot and Syrah shines with its superb dark fruit, violets and a spicy, peppery finish. Fine-grained but present tannins make it a lovely partner for grilled and roasted meat. 

“Granat” is the top wine of the estate. It is a blend of 80% Zweigelt, and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. Very intense and long, with lingering aromas of violets, dark fruit, cassis and macerated cherries with smoke and Christmas spice in the finish. The complex fruit integrates very well 100% new French oak.  

After the 2016 vintage, Aaron opened a 1997 bottle to demonstrate its calibre. Tasting the wine blind, I was guessing a 2007 or 2008 because of its healthy ruby colour and its bright cassis, and plum fruit core backed up by an attractive savoury, leafy and smokey finish.

A beautifully crafted Pinot Noir is also part of the red wine collection. Black and red cherries, blueberries, liquorice, juniper leaves and the silky tannins make the 2017 vintage wine a please to drink immediately but also worth cellaring it for some more years.