2018 Bergkloster 'Cuvee Rot'
Region: Rheinhessen < Germany
Grapes: St. Laurent
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic farming; loess, clay, marl and limestone soils; 2 weeks on the skins then aged for 9 months in a mix of large used oak and stainless steel; no filtration and no added So2; zero-zero; 12.5% ABV
Winemaker: Jason Groebe
The Bergkloster winery straddles the line between historical and progressive. The estate, located in the southern German wine region of Rheinhessen, dates back to the 18th century. 4th generation Jason Groebe has now taken over, and, like many young winemakers in the Rheinhessen, has transitioned the estate towards a more progressive, hand-off winemaking style.
Indigenous to Austria, the highly aromatic, dark skinned St. Laurent grape is also popular in the Rheinhessen. Its origins are mysterious - one parent is believed to be pinot noir but the second parent is unknown. Jason's 'Cuvee Rot', from a single plot called Auderde, is deep, dark and super aromatic, with intense fruit but barely-there tannins. At first sip, a big, purple, fruity wave of grape JELLO studded with black cherries hits you, but with air and time, the primary purple fruit fades and the wine opens up with warm baking spice, tart blackberry and bright, youthful acidity. The ultimate winter wine, you want this, chilled, to cut through fat of all kinds - sausages, pizza, cheese and salumi.