Thursday, September 16, 2021

Battenfeld Spanier 2016 Grüner Sylvaner Trocken

It’s time to revisit Sylvaner – once Germany’s most widely planted grape.

A Second Grüner?

This bottle began with a puzzle. We’re fans of the Austrian wine Grüner Veltliner – but the name Grüner Sylvaner on a German wine was a head-scratcher.

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We’ve had Sylvaner before and it’s a pleasant, soft white wine capable of great aromatics. In Germany, it’s spelled Silvaner and at one time its vines dominated the wine lands – until it was surpassed by the more productive Muller-Thurgau grape.

The correct name for the grape is Grüner Sylvaner, to differentiate it from another Sylvaner grape that is rarely grown. Grüner, by the way, means “greener.” That seems to fit with a wine that emphasizes fresh flavors.

A Higher Organic

Battenfeld Spanier is a winery in Germany’s Rheinhessen region, the largest of the country’s wine-growing areas. The winery, with 100 acres of vines, was a pioneer in the biodynamic movement in Rheinhessen.

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Sylvaner is a subtle wine, with a mild acidity. Pale yellow in the glass, it’s a great food partner (fish, vegetable casseroles, mild cheese). It’s also a nice casual sipping wine, as we discovered at the patio fire pit.

The wine is low in alcohol (12% ABV) and is finished in stainless steel to preserve the clean, precise flavors. The aromas are floral notes mixed with grass and herbs. The flavors are bright and clear pear and apple with mineral notes and a velvety texture.

It retails for about $24.

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