Friday, November 5, 2010

In the Glass: 2009 Weisses Rauschen – A Joint Venture of Winemaker Martin Tesch and Punk-Rock Band Die Toten Hosen

Picture: Weisses Rauschen

Martin Tesch is one of Germany’s leading producers of bone-dry white wines. Die Toten Hosen (The Dead Pants, but more elliptically: Nothing Going On) is Germany’s leading punk rock group. Both have teamed up to produce Weisses Rauschen (White Noise), a superb bone-dry Riesling Qualitaetswein.

Weingut Tesch

Dr. Martin Tesch owns and runs Weingut Tesch in the Nahe valley. The Weingut has been family-owned and run since 1723 and is a member of the prestigious VDP, the century-old association of Germany’s top winemakers.

In his mid-thirties, Martin Tesch is a Ph.D. microbiologist by training. He took over Weingut Tesch in 1996 and has presided over fundamental changes both in the vineyard and the wine cellar as well as in the marketing of the Tesch wines. Martin stopped producing sweet-style wines; all Tesch wines are now bone-dry, except, it seems, for the occasional Eiswein when conditions allow. Further, he has moved to natural and non-interventionist winemaking and strict yield control of between 20-30 hl/ha. The harvest is manual and he picks the grapes at full ripeness, but avoids botrytis. Also, he changed and simplified the label design. There are no long words anymore on the label. Finally, Martin Tesch now generally uses the Stelvin glass closure. It is a ultra-modern and expensive technical fitting; Martin Tesch and an increasing number of his colleagues are very upbeat about it. Weisses Rauschen, however, has a screw cup.

Picture: Christian G.E.Schiller with Martin Tesch in New York City

One of the Tesch wines that caught my eye before is his wine Unplugged, like Eric Clapton’s “unplugged” music and the music of the other unplugged CD series artists - a natural wine, with minimal intervention, just as mother nature intended it. I have written about “unplugged” here.

Have you seen Riesling People, Vol 1? This is an unusual book. Martin Tesch’s first wine book. It explains in a straightforward way, without words, what makes Martin Tesch tick and the wines he produces so special. Obviously, Martin Tesch loves Rock and Roll and lives with Rock and Roll. As a picture-book and travelogue, Riesling People Vol. 1 differs dramatically from the usual wine books. Almost without words, the book tells the story of Martin Tesch and his love for Riesling and Rock and Roll music. It is narrated by black and white photography, printed on glossy paper, and showcases the ecclectic mix of wine and music in Martin's world. I have written about it here.

Die Toten Hosen

Die Toten Hosen is the leading German punk band. The members of Die Toten Hosen are Campino (Andreas Frege), Kuddel (Andreas von Holst), Vom (Stephen 'Vom' Ritchie), Andi (Andreas Meurer) and Breiti (Michael Breitkopf).

Picture: Die Toten Hosen

The band has existed for over 20 years. The debut single "Wir sind bereit" (we are ready) was released in 1982. Their 1000th concert was on 28 June 1997, in the Düsseldorfer Rheinstadium, and was attended by more than 60,000 fans. On Saturday, October 2, 2010, the band played for the first time in the Middle East for the 20th anniversary for the fall of Berlin Wall.

2009 Riesling Weißes Rauschen

After the band's first wine Machmalriesling was quickly sold out, Die Toten Hosen and Martin Tesch agreed to produce another wine together, Weisses Rauschen. Of course, Martin is in the lead, but Martin told me that the band played an active role in the selection of wine, the name of the wine and the design of the bottle. The wine was named after a song of Die Toten Hosen from the album Zurueck zum Glueck (Back to Happiness).

The wine is a typical Tesch Riesling: No frills, crisp with fine grape flavor reminiscent of apple and apricot. It was environmentally-friendly grown in the vineyard, and naturally fermented and aged in the cellar.

Unusually, the wine bottle is not green, but black – Martin Tesch’s favorite color. Many call Martin the man in black, as he tends to be dressed in black. The band’s logo is on the cap.

Weingut Tesch für Die Toten Hosen
€ 66,- for 6 bottles (incl. shipping and handling)

Schiller Wine - Related Postings

In the Glass: Unplugged - Eric Clapton and Martin Tesch

Impressions from the Riesling & Co World Tour 2010 in New York

When Americans Drink German Wine - What They Choose

In the Glass: 2007 Rheinhessen with Oysters at the Ten Bells in the Lower East Side in Manhattan

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