Once upon a time there was a beautiful vineyard in a small village named Grosskarlbach, in the northeast of the Pfalz region in Germany. There, on a sunny and fertile land where cherries, peaches and apricots grew nearby, 13 generations of Lingenfelder winemakers produced wines since at least the year 1520. They knew their land was small -nowadays only 35 hectares- but it was very special, with an almost Mediterranean weather and the health that environmentally friendly agriculture conferred to it, the wine coming from it was meant for greatness.
One day six little creatures arrived to the vineyard: a fish named Mosel Riesling, a bee called Muscat, Pinot Grigio the Owl, a bird called Classic Riesling, Dornfelder the fox and a hare named Gewurztraminer. They were captured by a talented painter, Chuck House, who created beautiful artwork for the Lingenfelder family. As you’ll see, these wines are a case of pick them up for their gorgeous labels, get them again for their outstanding quality.
Each of these magical creatures became a wine that expressed the grapes’ charming personalities… Well, there’s some poetic licenses in that last line, but it sumarises the concept of the Vineyard Creatures Series, Lingenfelder’s range of wines that focus clear, crisp and vibrant flavours of these varieties.
Lingenfelder Hare Label Gewürztraminer 2013 is inspired on the cheerful hare. This amiable wildling is made with 100% Gewürztraminer and it’s the family’s standard bearer for highlighting grape variety over processing. The Lingenfelders believe in gentle winemaking, focusing on the farming and then intervening as little as possible in the cellar, and this Gewürz -German term for spicy- highlights the varietal’s aromatic qualities in an untamed manner.
The grapes come from the family estate as well as some selected neighbouring vineyards, and are often harvested fashionably late but still in time for it to reach a moderate 12.5% ABV.
The wine is deep golden and you can see how its vigorous body adheres to the glass walls that contain it when you swirl. The same action will release a generous and fragrant harmony of predominantly floral aromas of rose and orange blossom, with the exoticism of litchi syrup and a musky hint (a hare, after all).
It is dry, as almost all of its sugar is fermented during the winemaking process, although it still carries a delicate sweetness that contrasts enticingly with its more spicy side. The flavours are exuberant and linger on the palate for a good while.
If you let it breathe for a bit before serving it, it will become bolder, but unlike the princess in Sleeping Beauty, it’s you who will be awaken when it touches your lips. If you want to pair it with dishes that will come to live when matched, try these chicken gyozas, Thai chicken summer veg curry or this warm spicy tiger prawn salad.
Lingenfelder Hare Label Gewürztraminer 2013 is available at O’Briens Wines at €14.95, and at this price, is one the finest German Gewürz under €15 you’ll find.
Gabriela’s passion for writing is only matched by her love for food and wine. Journalist, confectioner and sommelier, she fell in love with Ireland years ago and moved from Venezuela to Dublin in 2014.
Since then, she has written about and worked in the local food scene, and she’s determined to discover and share the different traditions, flavours and places that have led Irish food and drink to fascinate her.