June 19, 2013

Appel on wine: Let's add 'freshness' to 'sweet' and 'savory'

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Because of that multiplicity, that seeming confluence of so many Pinot Noir forms, I asked Markus Heinel, Hofstatter's winemaker, what he tries to emphasize: ripeness, delicacy, mineral, fruit? He wrote back that all he tries to express is "the magic of the place of origin." I asked where else in the world he looks for inspiration for the wine; he wrote, "Nowhere, the vineyard is the inspiration."

And the vineyard is his home. Heinel elaborated on how he views pruning, canopy management (the use of vine leaves to shade and expose grapes to the sun), soil health (Hofstatter grapes are grown organically), and keeping yields low as his crucial tasks. The result is a wine that expresses grapes, soil, nature and little else.

You know how in Dylan's "Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again," your debutante knows what you need, but I know what you want? Well, the Hofstatter Pinot Nero knows what you want. And that's freshness, in a nutshell. It's satisfaction. I'll get my savory and my sweet. But I've got to be tender and kind enough with myself first, to get what I want.

Joe Appel works at Rosemont Market. His blog, soulofwine.com, continues the conversation, and he can be reached at soulofwine.appel@gmail.com.


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