From a Volcano, A Revelation: 2011 Koch Grauburgunder***

Posted by Joe Salamone

From a Volcano, A Revelation
2011 Koch Grauburgunder ***

There are wines that are easy to market, that have strong fan bases - slam dunks. Then, there are wines that are in dead categories.

Today's offer is one of the latter, but it was a revelation to me.

This is a wine that really, really impressed me and I felt obligated to offer it out. Practically speaking, it's insane, but Koch's Grauburgunder *** deserves the spotlight.

Holger Koch

It's fair to call it the most surprising wine I've drunk all year.

Koch's 2011 Grauburgunder *** offers up a shocking depth of complexity, a brilliant clarity and a beautiful poise.

The easy comparison is to some type of cross between White Burgundy and dry Germany Riesling and then add some more yellow fruits and flowers. It's vulgar, but probably helps.

All this obscurity has an upside - you're able get Koch's top wine from his best vineyard at a fairly gentle price, especially if you compare this to Burgundy and top Grosses Gewächs.

Last spring, I received an email from Koch's importer saying, "you have to try these wines. They're some of the best things we're working with." I had a sample bottle in the spring and was blown away. Since then, I've been waiting for the wine to arrive. When it did, I tasted another bottle and my appreciation of the bottle only grew.

This is a Grauburgunder from the Baden region of Germany. Saying that it's the same grape as Pinot Grigio in Italy and Pinot Gris in Alsace casts it in more familiar light, but does the wine a major disservice.

It does get to the heart of what makes Koch's wine so revelatory. If you have a picture of simple, crisp Pinot Grigio, rich and heavy Pinot Gris or even, the often powerful and fiercely alcoholic Grauburgunders that Baden often turns out, this Grauburger will turn your world upside down.

I haven't tasted anything like it.

Until tasting Koch's Grauburgunder***, I never imagined the grape could be rendered with this level of finesse, detail and complexity. The combination of silky, rich texture with an ultra-fine backbone of acidity make up a large part of what makes the Grauburgunder*** so compelling.

Koch is situated in a section of Baden known as the Kaiserstuhl, an area that's planted around an extinct volcano and famous for producing Baden's top wines.

Koch is in the village of Bickensohl, which German wine books tell you excels at Grauburgunder. His Grauburgunder*** is his top wine from this grape and sourced from a rigorous selection from his best vineyard Eichbuck. Koch gives his vineyards lavish care with organic viticulture and cover crops. He has painstakingly selected the highest quality selection massale vine material from Alsace and Burgundy.

Judging by the balance, concentration and overall composition, Koch's 2011 Grauburgunder *** promises to age very well. We've created 3-packs for this reason.

To order, reply to or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits

2011 Koch Grauburgunder ***