Perfectly Pale Pink Blanc de Noirs from Schäfer-Fröhlich
And now for something completely different...how about a Champagne-inspired, bronze-tinged, almost-rosé, from Pinot Noir, but without bubbles and bone dry, made in the Nahe?
While not easy to describe, Schäfer-Fröhlich's Blanc de Noir is decidedly easy to drink.
Made by the Nahe's heartthrob, Tim Fröhlich, the style is actually very traditional in Germany, if not often employed these days. But tradition and obscurity are two of Tim’s specialties.
The Fröhlichs have been growing grapes for 200 years, and Schäfer-Fröhlich was established in 1970. But, it wasn't until Tim took over in the 1990s that they started to gain notoriety. And really, "catapulted to fame" might be a more apt description.
Tim quickly won accolades and press, and loyal fans among international wine lovers. He’s got it all: great terroir, singular talent, unwavering commitment to perfection and, perhaps rarest of all, a clear, compelling and unique vision.
Although young, Tim is a fierce traditionalist both in the vineyards and the cellar.
He adheres to the adage that wines are made in the vineyard, demonstrated by an intense dedication to his collection of old vines.
All of his wines ferment spontaneously — not the current norm in Germany — with a focus on minerality, precision and terroir expression.
Today’s wine is a traditional German example of “Spätburgunder Weissherbst Trocken” or a “Blanc de Noirs” (i.e. a white wine from red grapes).
It starts its life just like its Champagne counterpart, by immediately pressing the juice away from the skins of Pinot Noir grapes, avoiding most of the color and all of the coarser tannins.
The results are a graceful wine with the same delicate and elegant nature of a vin clair (Champagne before it is bottled and bubbled), popping with acidity, lower in alcohol, and rosé-esque — a perfect alternative thirst-quencher for these already sticky summer days.
Schäfer-Fröhlich, Blanc de Noirs Dry Rosé, 2020
“This wine has the faint whiff and flavor of flowers and red berries, yet it has the texture of a white wine. It’s vivacious and refreshing.” — Eric Asimov, The New York Times