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Brand "Electric Chardonnay Acid Test" Pflalz, Germany 2021

Brand "Electric Chardonnay Acid Test" Pflalz, Germany 2021

Regular price $21.00 USD
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FROM VOM BODEN

THE WINE: The forgotten border region of the northern Pfalz is riddled with limestone soils making it perfect for, among other things, certain varieties that do well in Burgundy, like, well, Chardonnay.

Yet here the temperatures are a bit cooler, the nights a bit brisker, and so the Chardonnay that the young brothers Brand farm comes to us with a tad more acidity, a few thousand more volts of electricity than most of the more luxurious examples from Burgundy and the New World. This is no-nonsense, organically farmed, young-vine Chardonnay that is ripe, yet sizzles with energy and acidity. And just to make sure that the wine glows in the dark, the brothers add a small bit of Riesling to the cuvée (usually 10%) which turbo-charges everything, heightening and sharpening the aromatics, making the wine perfumed and even more explosive.

Enjoy with lightning bolts and crudo.

THE PRODUCER: The brothers Brand, Daniel and Jonas, have quickly brought attention to the far northern Pfalz, this cool-climate, limestone-rich, yet otherwise overlooked region. I would say the brothers (along with Andreas Durst, see his grower page) have redefined this place, but that presupposes the place has actually been defined, which is a stretch.

While we are only about five miles south of Keller’s village (Flörsheim-Dalsheim), in this short trip we cross from the Rheinhessen into the Pfalz, from fame to obscurity. The “famous” Pfalz, the Mittelhaardt region, is a good 45-minutes south. Here, however, in the north, in the Brand brother’s village of Bockenheim, well, things are a bit quieter; the historic and gilded estates of the south, with their tended gardens and bustling tourism, give way to a quieter, more gritty, working agricultural feel in the north.

The Brand brothers are, however, electrifying their little town and this forgotten region. And they are doing so with huge smiles, a raucous joy – even downright excitement – in their role as stewards for the land.

It’s a rather curious blend of youthful exuberance, a surplus of energy and an unflappable belief in the future of viticulture in their vineyards, tempered by a maturity that is surprising given their ages (Daniel was born in 1990; Jonas in 1994).

If in some way the brothers, and their unique, crystalline natural wines, seem to have come out of nowhere, there is a context here. Their father, Jürgen, was one of the first advocates for environmentally conscious agriculture, joining an important organic organization in 1994. However, it wasn’t until Daniel came into the winery in 2014 that they made the transition to organic viticulture. Starting with vintage 2018, they are certified organic. They are also pursuing parts of the biodynamic philosophies, with the very real desire to understand and integrate its principles, without necessarily blindly following the ideology. The brothers, for their own parts, have worked with a bevy of “who’s who” producers including Lise and Bertrand Jousset in the Loire, and Alwin Jurtschitsch in Austria’s Kamptal.

More on the producer here. 

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