2007 Weingut Oekonomierat Rebholz Weisser Burgunder Spaetlese Trocken (Pfalz, Germany, 13.5% abv). What a start to the new year--this, the first of Body und Soil's 2010 Wines of Vintegrity, and hopefully a worthwhile thought or two about what makes Rebholz so great, so nostalgic. 100% Pinot Blanc.
This is a child's first memory of traipsing through a musty fleuriste and standing at the threshold between the shop's backdoor and the gaping portal of its stuffy greenhouse. The smell is a wet, grassy rapture, the singular and unabashed nature of the Pfalz on a rainy harvest day, the first step into a soggy sandstone vineyard. Sauce that up with some freshly sliced kiwi and persimmon...that's your olfactory tapestry. That's the signature Rebholz complexity.
The palate is equally transcendent. A salty whack of celery, cox-orange, and a bit of unripe blueberry, if Pinot Blanc even permits my association therewith. I suspect, however, it's akin to the red-berry notes of some Mittel Mosel Riesling. The nose begins to throw off more herbal earthiness as air begins to interact with it, revealing a sort of citrus-infused Wuyuan Jasmine tea. You never notice the 13.5% alcohol content, but this certainly has the palate-staining weight of a great Kremstal Gruener Veltliner.
With varietal integrity like this--not to mention profundity--I can really start to appreciate Champagne's attempts to bottle 100% Pinot Blanc fizz. An incredible buy at 11 Euro. I wish I could find a picture of this wine; it would certainly aid in the consumer's recognition factor. Regardless, should you mention Rebholz in any self-respecting German Vinothek, some self-respecting person should be able to point you in the right direction (or at least hand you a bottle of Messmer's Im Goldenen Jost Grosses Gewaechs instead).
As an aside, besides the Sekten of Volker Raumland, Hansjoerg Rebholz's takes on Champagne are hands-down the best in Germany. And are somewhat ironically affordable.