Yes, here I am at Mt Angel’s Oktoberfest, surrounded by fabulous, rare German beers, looking for wine.
For over 50 years, Mt Angel has hosted 350,000 tipsy, wanna-be bavarians intent on eating, drinking, and watching weiner dogs race.
We fuel up on schnitzel, spätzle, and pretzel shipped from Munich, along with a lovely dunkel lager.
Polka plays and luck smiles upon me as I enter the Weingarten.
The choices, honestly, are innexpensive and hardly earth-shattering. However, my eyes fall on a grape called Acolon.
Like Sisyphus, Germany continues to chase the ever-ellusive, smooth, full bodied red in their cool climate by endlessly crossing hardy grape with hardy grape. This struggle will continue unless they give up or their climate drastically changes. Thus, Germans created the Acolon grape by crossing Blauer Limburger and Dornfelder in 1971. Only 1.3 kilometers grow it.
Wachtenburg Winzer is a cooperative winery of 58 families in Western Germany in the Pfalz. Their labels look horridly dull. But nothing brilliant ever came by committee.
Through my wee plastic cup, the APPEARANCE looks a clear, medium plus intense purple cored, ruby-framed red. AROMAS moderately smell of beet juice, red grapefruit, pepper, and cheese. The PALATE feels off dry, with pinging high acidity, medium tannins, medium body, and a rounded, fine sand texture. FLAVORS taste spicy, with tart bramble berry jam, blue cheese, and black pepper that lasts a medium minus length.
Watchenburg Winzer’s Acolon is a good (3 of 5), honest, functional red. It is red, chunky, but cannot hide its cool climate enamel-etching acidity. The malolactic fermentation kills some of the fruit’s character in an attempt to compensate. Yet, sometimes, such cheap wines allow one to learn the basics about a grape variety.
Well, back to beer then…