“Wine Saves Life”
That is the name of a charitable foundation begun in 2001 with a single goal: to help children to prosper and, indeed, sometimes just to survive. Every Euro that goes to the society ends up used for the projects that it decides to support. Said projects are decided upon democratically during member meetings where they are suggested and voted upon. All office costs, all staffing expenses, all administrative overhead is financed privately by the members themselves.
The idea here is that, for the cost of a decent bottle of wine, real help can be brought to children around the world. This is not a huge organisation, and the members are almost all professionally involved with wine – many as winemakers. If your German is good – or you would like to improve it – you can read all about it on their website: Wine Saves Life
…and one of the ways they have found to encourage donation to the cause comes in the form of a fantastic mixed case of aged German wines from the 40,000-bottle cellar of Schloss Sommerhausen. These wines go back as far as 1975 and span the breadth and depth of German regions, styles and varieties….but you don’t know which ones will arrive at your door. I can’t imagine a more exciting thing to try out! Naturally, I ordered a couple of cases immediately.
They came, and this is what emerged:
1991 Astheimer Karthäuser Riesling Kabinett Feinherb 9.5% – Gebiets-Winzergenossenschaft Franken
1993 Stettener Stein Silvaner Spätlese – Gebiets-Winzergenossenschaft Franken
Randersackerer Pfülben Riesling 9.5% – Richard Schmitt Franken
1983 Achkarrer Schlossberg Spätburgunder Weissherbst Spätlese – Winzergenossenschaft Achkarren Baden
1997 Monsheimer Silberberg Morio-Muskat Spätlese 9.0% – Weingut Schmitt Rheinhessen
1999 Winterbacher Hungerberg Dornfelder Trocken 12.5% – Weingut Jürgen Ellwanger Württemberg
1984 Trittenheimer Altärchen Riesling QbA – Weingut Ferdinand Krebs Mosel-Saar-Ruwer
1980 Forster Pechstein Riesling Kabinett – Weinkellerei Eugen Müller, Pfalz
1984 Niersteiner Spiegelberg Riesling – Weingut Anton Balbach Bürgermeister-Erben Rheinhessen
1995 St. Martiner Baron Rieslaner Trocken 12% – Weingut Gebrüder (??) Pfalz
1997 Langenlonsheimer Sonnenborn Senator Neuzüchtung Spätlese 11% – Weingut J. Lersch Nahe
1997 Dürkheimer Fronof Rieslaner Kabinett 11.5% – Wein und Sektgut Katharinenhof Pfalz
As you can see from the pictures, some of the bottles were, shall we say, difficult to identify. Fortunately, only one bottle refused to reveal its vintage, and only one other had a completely unidentifiable producer. As I work my way through these vintage wines, I’ll activate the links on this post, DO check back!
Almost all of the wines promise to be very interesting, as long as they are still alive. One or two cause me a bit of concern – particularly that Weissherbst (a sweetish style of rosé that used to be very popular, but which is really losing ground) due to the cork that seems to be pushing out of the bottle. The couple bottles where the ullage (the fill level in the bottle…you can see how much wine has evaporated over time) is very low are also cause for a bit of concern, but it doesn’t HAVE to be a bad sign.
Exciting stuff, can’t wait to get started!