Warning, this is not for the faint of heart. If you are into the ordinary, not willing to venture out, and prefer your typical Aussie Shiraz or Bordeaux, then stop here!
Hey, you have decided to continue on. Good for you! Today’s wine is something so uniquely different that for most wine drinkers, the typical reaction would be to shake their heads, spit it out, and vouch to never touch this vile stuff again. That is unfortunate. They are denying themselves a wine so wonderfully peculiar that it is difficult to come by.
Yes, Dornfelder. It is a grape of German origin, and is a cross between the grape Helfensteiner and the grape Heroldrebe.
Okay, Helfensteiner is then a cross between Frühburgunder and Trollinger, while Heroldrebe is a cross between Blauer Portugieser and Lemberger (otherwise known as Blaufränkisch).
Yeah, I don’t think I am making things clearer here, but essentially, Dornfelder is a grape that is the result of a bunch of crosses between other grapes, all of which generally found in Germany, Austria and Central Europe and not so much anywhere else.
This wine was served at one of our wine tasting events a few weeks back. For most, the flavor profile of the wine is unfamiliar. As a result, the wine was not popular, and for some, they consider it downright nasty. It is not unexpected. Taste and flavors are subjective in nature, and in general, taste or flavors that are unfamiliar to us are strange, whether it is wine, food or anything else. However, this does not mean the quality of the wine is bad. The wine is actually quite well made! Balanced, structured with a nice finish, and would be popular if not for the intriguing flavor profile. My notes on this wine:
Interesting aroma of floral, bubble gum, jasmine and almond like fragrance . . . on the nose reminded me of a heavy rich white rather than a red, and presents a stark contrast to the extremely deep, brooding purple color. Lots of blue fruit, banana, almond, cashew on the palate with rather rough, smoky tannins. Also a touch of chocolate. One of the most interesting wine that I have tasted in a long time. Not sure I like the wine, but I did keep on going back to it though . . . Read the Rest Here.
I am not alone in thinking this wine really is quite something else. One attendee said the wine has “roasted almond, cashew aroma, very rich body and seducing color” and is a wine that he wants to drink with a “char grilled steak”, awarding the wine with a 95-points score. Another attendee said “almond milk on the nose (or more specifically, 杏仁露)” with “blood purple red” color and good with “The Laughing Cow cubed cheese (the one with the red bull logo – available in most supermarkets in Hong Kong)” with an 88-points score. Several other attendees also bestowed 90+ points score on the wine as well, but this is at the same time mixed in with various low 80s or 70s.
At the end of the day, what do I think of the wine though? Well, the flavor profile is not for me. It’s not because it is weird, it is mainly because of that almond characteristic that is so prominent here, and I just don’t like almonds. However, it is a wine that makes me ponder and want to explore what else is in the bottle. This also happens to be one of the most intriguing wines I have had in a long time, and if I was drinking this while I am traveling in Germany, I would be quite thrilled of uncovering such a bottle!
If you are the adventurous sort and want to get away from the typical wines that you see in Hong Kong, then give the Terra Palatina Flemlinger Bischofskreuz Dornfelder Spätlese Trocken 2009 a try. You may end up discovering something very different that you will fall in love with! If you, however, end up hating this, well, I warned you already. You can find this wine at S & D German Wines in Hong Kong.
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