Every quarter, I get a pair of wines from the folks at Wines of Germany. It's usually Riesling (like the second bottle for another post), though there is immense diversity within that one grape. When this arrived, I thought it was a mistake.
The name and label made me think it was a California bubbly, but in tiny letters at the bottom you can see Sekthaus Raumland. Yes folks, this is vintage Sekt, and while I've been familiar with the style for a long time I had never actually tried it. The name has gone back and forth as a generic and specific name for sparkling wines from German-speaking regions, but I don't think it's a recognizable enough term for other countries to want to appropriate, as happened in many places with Champagne.
Sekthaus Raumland was founded in 1984 by Volker Raumland, who studied oenology at Geisenheim. While they are a relatively small production winery, they do produce a wide variety of labels, covering traditional, high end Champagne-style wines with some sparkling Riesling and a trio of inexpensive seccos. This and the Cuvée Katharina are named after the Raumlands' daughters.
2008 Raumland "Cuvée Marie-Luise" Blanc de Noirs Vintage Brut
$45, 12% abv.
100% Pinot Noir
Made in Rheinhessen, Germany
While this has 8.5 g/L of residual sugar, the tart acidity makes certain that it doesn't come off as sweet. There are light aromas of apple and lemon, with just a little toast underneath. It's a very pale Blanc de Noirs with none of the salmon tinge you occasionally see. Crisp and mild with medium sized bubbles and a clean finish. Excellent with a plate of cheeses and cured meats as a party is just warming up. This may be difficult to find in the United States, but it's worth trying if you want to expand your life list a bit.
Note: This wine was received as a sample.