2010 A. Diehl Dornfelder trocken

Gutsabfüllung (what does this mean?), Deutscher Qualitätswein, from Pfalz, Germany, 1 liter bottle with screw cap, 13% ABV
This was an excess buyer’s sample purchased for $3 at the Berkeley, CA, store on 25 May.  I had been saving the 1L bottle for a special occasion, but finally gave up and opened it.

2010_ADiehl_Dornfelder_PfalzI didn’t recall having tasted Dornfelder before, but I could not resist trying a 1L bottle of an unknown German red wine with a nice label at a very low price.  I liked it a lot, but others are less fond of this style of wine.

The first pour revealed a bit of the sort of sulfurous funkiness I’ve come to associate with screw-capped reds, but this blew off as the wine started to come around after about 50 minutes in a decanter.  It then sweetened to develop a red candied fruit character.  The wine was fully aired after about 90 minutes, when the candied character largely gave way to very tangy red and purple plum, black raspberries, some other red / purple fruit I couldn’t identify, a darker herbal component, and a little lively spice on the finish.

This is not an especially substantial wine, but it’s quite different from anything I usually drink, and I found its novel aspects entertaining and tasty.  It went well with ground pork and red chard, gently seasoned with nutmeg, allspice, and caraway, over rice.

I never saw this show up as regular stock in a store near me, but Bin5 said he saw a Dornfelder in the Seattle area that was most likely this one.  Did anyone try it?


7 thoughts on “2010 A. Diehl Dornfelder trocken

  1. Janet Reed

    Lake City in Seattle had it and I don’t think it moved at 7 dollars. I bought a bottle on spec and promptly forgot about it. Last I checked, they still had it at the Lake City GO. (Ironically, I just had a dornfelder last night at a hotel-catered reception in Germany. If I believed in tasting notes from wine poured into plastic cups, it would be vaguely sweet and inoffensive. I will definitely crack open the GO Dornfelder on return…

    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Janet! Thanks for your report. I agree $7 is a little too much even for 1L of this wine. However it’s not outrageously too much by any means, and I’m surprised it’s stayed around so long. Maybe people are just unfamiliar with Dornfelder? (Similarly, there is now a $10 Spanish Albarino in the GOs near me. I can’t imagine this will ever sell.) Your recent plastic-cupped sample sounds like the kind of wine I avoid. I look forward to hearing your reactions to this wine. In the meantime, happy travels!

  2. iBob

    Gutsabfüllung means estate bottled.

    Dornfelder is a grape variety specially developed for the German climate to yield a wine having fairly substantial red color. In recent years the climate has warmed enough that pinot noir (Spätburgunder) is being grown successfully, so the need for Dornfelder is now in question.

    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Greetings iBob and welcome. Maybe like other species adjusting to global warming, Dornfelder will just migrate farther north? 🙂

  3. the winegetter

    A Dornfelder, definitely a difficult find in the US! The wine should definitely be on the lighter side and dry (my wife just opened a horribly sweet Rheinhessen Dornfelder last night which was unsalvageable). Classic “bread and butter” wine for a German dinner of bread, cold cuts and cheese. I miss those simple, 3 Euro a bottle wines for everyday consumption. This seemed to hit the spots, although it is definitely the first Dornfelder that I have heard was decanted…:)

    Oh, and Gutsabfüllung simply means “estate bottled”.

    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Greetings Winegetter! I had hoped you would see this and weigh in. Yes, this wine was rather translucent and was totally dry. I agree it was a nice basic wine. Maybe it’s just my bias that I preferred it to all the $4 Grocery Outlet wines from “California.” As for decanting, I just wanted to help it air in time for dinner. I didn’t get out the fancy crystal or anything.

      1. the winegetter

        Oh, I agree with you that you can often find much better value at that price range with wines from Germany…one of the advantages of being completely underrated as a wine country…pricing in the US is insane anyway…glad you liked it!


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