Knauss - Schwarzriesling Brut Zero 2016
100% Schwarzriesling (Pinot Meunier, Blanc de Noir)
Practicing Organic, No Sulfur Added
Strumpfelbach, Württemberg, Germany
From the importer-
Schwarzriesling (Pinot Meunier) from a plot of Stubensandstein (vineyards usually reserved for the best still whites), fermented naturally, then made as a methode Champenoise sparkling wine, but with no dosage. This cuvee sees a little oak in its elevage, and goes into the bottle unsulphured. Again we have a dry, complex, serious fizz from limestone, with a little extra texture from its upbringing.
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. After wine school and a stage in Austria (where Andi learned how to work organically in the vineyard, and to care for the soil) he took over the reins at Weingut Knauss in 2004, and in less than 10 years, he 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 fermentations and minimal sulfur are the norm 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 layerd 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.