While Monday posts have been revisiting our travels in Germany, one grape missed mention: Dornfelder.
The Germans take science to vines with exacting passion. August Herold created Dornfelder (named after his institute’s founder) in 1955, in Weinsberg (named after…well… grape city). It is a crossing of many other crossings…deep breath: Helfensteiner (Frühburgunder/Pinot Noir Précoce × Trollinger/Schiava Grossa) and Heroldrebe (Blauer Portugieser × Blaufränkisch/Lemberger).
Zellertaler Keller, Villa Golsen, Dornfelder (grape), Trocken, Rheinhessen, Germany 2010 (drunk 2012). Bio. €4.99
AROMAS: Clean, developing, medium plus intense aromas of dark wild-berry mix, marzipan, all spice, a hint of wild fox musk (brett wild yeast), and vanilla.
PALATE: Dry, medium plus acid, round medium tannins, medium alcohol 12%, medium body.
FLAVORS: Medium intense flavors of wild-berries, orange peel, vanilla, and all spice that last a medium length.
CONCLUSIONS: Villa Golsen’s Dornfelder is a good quality red (3 of 5). Dornfelder’s whole goal is to be a robust red that can survive Germany’s horrid, cold climates. Today, Dornfelder is Germany’s second-most planted red grape. It may not be Australian Shiraz, but it tastes and feels round and fruity enough to give Germany a red worth drinking.