You may not know it, but if you are a wine drinker of a certain age you have probably consumed a good deal of Muller-Thurgau. Remember those bottles of German wine in the 1970’s and 80’s called Liebfraumilch or Piersporter that were so enticing because they were so cheap?—they were probably made from the Muller-Thurgau grape, a cross of Riesling and Madeleine Royale that was planted extensively in Germany after WWII because it was easy to grow and ripened early. Thankfully, the German wine industry has gradually transitioned to Riesling and Pinot Noir which make more interesting wine. Yet Muller Thurgau has a place and is still widely grown in many wine regions.
Oregon, in its search for cool climate grapes to compliment their Pinot Noir, grows some some of it.
Some bottle taint was evident when I opened the bottle but it blew off quickly. Nevertheless, the nose smells of over-ripe apples, with bready aromas and floral notes gaining prominence with aeration, simple and one dimensional but quite unique. At first, off dry on the palate with a full body supporting apple flavors, but it evolves as the acidity kicks in leading to a crisp, extended, chalky finish that refreshes. Muller-Thurgau is notoriously lacking in acidity but this one avoids that pitfall. Even lovers of bone dry white wines will not find this offensive or cloying if you drink it cold. An easy drinking summer wine if you’re in a Chardonnay rut with its own character. And at 10.5% alcohol you could have it for lunch and no one would know.
I’ve been complaining, on this blog, about the loss of local particularity when wine industry conglomerates produce generic wine with no sense of place. This wine seems well adapted to Northern Oregon weather and soils, has a different character than most German versions I’ve had of this varietal, and is sold in local supermarkets. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it at a California winery. It is indeed a local wine.
Speaking of the 70’s, pair with Summer Breeze by Seals and Crofts