As I work on trying to get The Dirt On Wine the television series produced while making my living as a sommelier, it sometimes happens that the two worlds collide. This week, I got to taste through several wines with one of the wine makers I will be profiling on the show. His name is Andreas Bender and he made his first wine at the age of thirteen. His father worked propagating vines for the wine industry and it was there that he acquired his first knowledge about what makes great wine.

Even as a winemaker, Andreas brings the past and present together using old school techniques in the vineyard and new technology in the winery. He eschews the use of commercial yeasts and enzymes adding nothing to the grapes in the process and uses stainless steel tanks and modern wine-making techniques like cold fermentation to preserve the flavour of the fruit. He also divides his time between the regions of Mosel and Pfalz unlike wine makers in the past who tended to be stuck in one place without the chance to explore new terroirs.

We tasted:

Paulessen Mosel Dry Riesling 2012

Fresh yellow colour. Big lilac fruit nose with lime peel and tangerine. Very light petrol notes. Natural yeasts, natural enzymes, nothing added! Massive fresh lime attack with a hint of nectarine. So mouth-watering and delicious. ❤ +755682 $

Kulina Riesling 2012

Bright gold hue. Spicy fresh tangerine and coconut nose with sea salt and a hint of sandalwood. Splashy fresh attack that fills the mouth with citrus and tropical fruit goodness. Just lush and appealing. Silky mouth feel and a long tangy finish. ❤ +755683 $

Dajoar (day-oar) 2012

The name Dajoar is high German for “In earlier times”. It’s a single hill vineyard on rare red slate. Glistening gold colour. Pungent lime peel with a hint of petrol in the background, peach upside down cake, fresh nectarine and mysterious notes of jasmine. Lush, sexy attack, slick mouthfeel that opens immediately to super bright acidity. Big open mid palate that fairly tingles with fresh tangy fruit. It lingers all over the palate painting the edges of the tongue with deliciousness.<3 +767687 $$ A bargain at twice the price!

Kulina Gewürztraminer 2013

This is a dry Gewürztraminer that took an entire year to finish fermenting. It’s a pretty pale straw hue. Aromas of English pear and freesia with spicy elegant notes. Aromatic and fresh, one could write paragraphs on the nose alone. Bone dry attack with notes of fresh rose and lemon which opens to grapefruit impressions. A mad evolution on the palate. Salty and wonderful. ❤ +762196 low side of $$ such a bargain. It has such a beautiful weight on the palate and a long, constantly changing aftertaste. It lingers and lingers inside the cheeks and under the back teeth. This wine makes me happy.

Der Rose Bender 2012

A blend of Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, it’s a pale wild strawberry colour. Fresh crushed strawberry nose…even the green stemmy part comes through with a very earthy note behind that. Elegant dry attack with good fruit and a beautiful earthy mid palate. Silken smooth mouthfeel and an even acidity that carries the wild strawberry fruit and earthy aftertaste. The palate reflects the nose perfectly. It’s exactly what a person wants from rose. +755685 $ Look for it at BiBO soon!

Bender Pinot Noir Pfalz 2011

Shiny clear light ruby. From new oak barrels of Russian, French and German oak. Initial impression of eggnog (cream and nutmeg) pin cherry and earth, maybe more like chalk. A little dirty – just enough to be enticing. Silky smooth attack that opens up with keen acidity and an earthy aftertaste. It’s just perfect Pinot for every day. The finish is long and seems to get deeper and more intense as it lingers. Lovely. ❤ +762197 low-end of $$

These wines are so wonderful, I can pretty much guarantee that you will always be able to find them wherever I am. All of them are available in Alberta so go to the AGLC product finder at http://www.liquorconnect.com/Pages/default.aspx  to find the retailer nearest you who carries these wonderful Bender wines.

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