Odin Bauer is a 'Schwabe'...which locates him being born round the Stuttgart area...his partner Elmar Lehmann from Baden. The name Zalwander is Alemannic for 'the two of us'...and the two of them started out in 2002 with 1.3 hectares. More than half of the vines are Spätburgunder and a third Lemberger. A small amount of Grau Burgunder makes up the rest. I first 'found' the property when in Freiburg a few years ago and a wine merchant recommended the 2005 Spätburgunder. It aged beautifully...and the property was noted for future tries. I purchased these two on offer here on my recent visit to Köndringen...both from the underrated 2008 vintage. Both spend time in small oak barrels and are unfiltered.
Zalwander Lemberger 2008
This 'speciality' of the Württemberg area is no doubt down to Herr Bauer. He may be in Baden but his roots are in Württemberg. Grown on clay soil...the vines are now 9 years old. The initial aroma is of juniper berries...and develops a lively peppery smell. This is a 'terroir' wine...with the earth playing a large part in the style and feel. A juicy palate, very natural in the mouth....rounded tannins...nice dose of acidity...and a general all-round well made wine... and already easy to drink. At € 15,-- it is a bargain.
Zalwander Spätburgunder Harte Erde 2008
This used to be labeled 'EEE' (Einzigartiger Erstklassiger Erdenhard)...and comes from 30 year-old vines. There is around 600 bottles available in each vintage. A delicate, elegant whiff of oak here...again the juniper berries...again the 'terroir' feel...sour cherries on the palate....herbs and dark Pinot....a signature wine if you like...with the stamp of the winemaker. As it developed the pepper evolved....and although approachable now I would put it away for a couple of years.
Both wines will benefit from cellaring and could be rated more with aging.