La Boutanche Trollinger 1 Liter 2020
Regular price $21.00
Winemaker: Andi Knauss
Appellation: Strümpfelbach, Germany
Grape Varieties: Trollinger
Selection Massale's 'La Boutanche' series is an ongoing series of collaborations with leading winemakers working in the 'natural' mode -- fermentation with native yeasts, little to no sulphur -- to distribute tasty and affordable wines for immediate consumption. Always in liter sized bottles colorfully adorned with anthropomorphic caricatures of the producers, these offer excellent everyday options for parties, dinners, and personal enjoyment.
Whereas winemaking was a hobby for earlier generations at this domain (a way of winding down after a day's work at the nearby
Mercedes-Benz factory), Andi Knauss has long known he wanted to be a vigneron. After wine school and a stage in Austria (where
Andi learned how to work organically in the vineyard, and to care for the soil) he took over the reins at Weingut Knauss in 2004, and
in less than 10 years, he has developed one of the most important and exciting estates we know of. The vineyards are worked naturally,
and winemaking is careful and conscientious. Natural fermentations and minimal sulfur are the norm throughout the range, and some cuvees see no sulfur at all.
Andi, who is in his early thirties, runs a tight ship, making wine from over a hundred different plots in Strümpfelbach, the village where the winery is located, and a few surrounding villages in the hills around the river Rems. These hills are composed of different types of limestone of different eras, basically layerd on top of each other, changing with the altitude, between 300 and 400 meters above sea level. Vineyard land here is expensive, but Andi has slowly built up the estate parcel by parcel, sometimes just a row, selecting the best
sites to be blended into the "Selection" and "Reserve" bottlings.
After working with us for a couple years, Andi decided to try his hand at a few experiments, making some wines that he wanted to make, but that he wasn't sure the German market was ready for. So far these include a sparkling wine with no dosage, and Trollinger "Without all," a with no sulfur, yeast, sugars or any other additives of any shape or form (Andi even eschews adding a front label). Other goodies are on the way, including a sparkling blanc de noirs from a fine plot of Pinot Meunier (or, as it is known locally, Schwarzriesling). We are very proud of these wines (not least because it turned out that Germans do have a taste for more natural wines), and couldn't be happier with the way things have turned out.
A little background on the project from Selection Massale:
When we were first starting out, we quickly became disappointed with the lack of good natural wine in the $20 range. Not being the kind of people to say ‘well, it is what it is’, we got to work thinking about how we could remedy this situation. So, we started talking with our producers and, already knowing what we wanted - native yeast fermentations, low or zero SO2 additions, and the like; basically pure unadulterated glou glou that we could put into a liter-sized screw-top bottle and would be a great introduction to natural wine - it didn’t take long for us to find winemakers who were willing to partner with us on this project. All it needed was a name.
The first run of Boutanche was back in 2012. As you may remember, it had a bright pink label that read ‘La Boutanche’ with pig in a Hawaiian shirt polishing off a glass of wine above that, and not much else. The juice inside was what mattered (at the time it was Gamay made by Maison PUR), and the juice inside seriously overdelivered for its low retail price. It was an immediate hit. Flash forward to today and there are many different Boutanche: the grasshopper (Andi Knauss), the fish (Frantz Saumon), the pig (Olivier Minot), the French bulldog (Quentin Bourse), the gorilla (Martin Texier), you name it. We are committed to expanding the line and having Boutanche be the first bottle you reach for around $20, either if it’s your daily go-to wine or if it will be your first natural wine experience. Boutanche is now synonymous with high-quality natty juice at a fair price, so stay tuned for new releases under this label.