Rainer Schnaitmann makes low intervention wines in Fellbach near Stuttgart. He is one of those winemakers who (alongside his mentor Clemens Busch) is revered in his homeland, but less well-known outside. His style is distinctively ‘Schwäbisch’, with balanced extraction and extensive use of large old oak foudres. He tells me that he loves to focus on the earthiness and juice of his fruit, rather than producing a red Burgundy lookalike. Whilst his Spätburgunder and Grauburgunder are outstanding, coaxing the very best out of the solar 2018 vintage, it’s always his treatment of the oft-underrated Lemberger (Blaufränkisch) that ravishes.
"The full, copper color (almost certainly from fermentation on the skins) and the touch of funk (from reduction) on the nose announce that this is a self-consciously alternative German pinot gris. However, I really like the balance of caramelized-pear and quince character, the dryness and the discreet tannins on the palate. Just wait until you taste this with roast heritage-breed pork! From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold. " 94 pts, James Suckling