At the beginning of 1970’s, the Kindermann winery, headquartered in Bingen am Rhein, Germany, introduced a mainstream entry-level white wine in an attractive black earthenware bottle. Black Tower was immediately successful with its floral aromas, soft, off dry taste, low alcohol and pleasantly refreshing mouth feel. Consumers liked it, used the empty bottle for decoration, and the price was right. Soon the company changed the packaging and the blend using imported wines from Italy and France. Black Tower was marketed as a Euroblend and became too mainstream and neutral in taste. Consumers started to switch to other brands and Black Tower lost significant market share.
Kendermann is now merged with C. Reh, another large German negociant winery from Mosel-Saar-Ruwer.
Now the Black Tower wines (there are four) are “qualitatswein level” and 100 percent varietal. Qulitatswein is the second rung on the German wine quality scale.
Christine Prostler, a 29 year old Geisenheim graduate with South African, New Zealand, and German winemaking experience, is now in charge of quality and consistency of the brand, and I must say that all wines she presented recently immensely improved.
Reh-Kendermann now markets in the Black Tower series, a 100 percent Riesling using exclusively fruit from the Pfalz region (Palatinate), pinot grigio and rivaner (a.k.a) Muller Thrugau (Rheinhessen) and a blend of dornefelder and pinot noir from the Pfalz.
Recently, C Prostler, the public relations director and export manager of Reh-Kendermann were in Toronto to re-introduce the Black Tower line to the wine media in the restaurant Monsoon.
Black Tower Riesling 2010 Pfalz – crisp, with elegant floral aromas and apple flavour. Light and very enjoyable
General List $ 10.95
Pinot Grigio 2010 Rheinhessen aka Grauburgunder, Pinot Gris, Chasselas – ripe fruit aromas, spicy, medium bodied and clean with a pleasant finish.
88 / 100 Presently not available but will be in a few months.
Rivaner ( aka Muller-Thurgau), 2010 – smooth, off-dry (28 grams of residual sugar/liter), pleasant, easy-to-enjoy as pick-me-up, or with chicken tacos, pork and chili fry.
General list $ 9.15
Dornfelder/Pinot Noir 2006 Pfalz – Dornfelder is a German red wine grape specially bred for the terroir. It has red juice, and blends well with pinot noir, since both grapes are sourced in the Pfalz, the warmest region in Germany.
The wine displays excellent aromatics, is full-bodied and spicy. The finish is long and satisfying. Serve at 15 – 16 C. At room temperature the wine tastes flat.
General list 10.95
The menu and wine matches were quite successful with the exception of Shanghai noodles with five-spice pork tenderloin. The wine was too light and too sweet for the dish.
Organic baby greens in a pappadum cup with ginger miso vinaigrette and seedlings
Black Tower Riesling 2006
Japanese Potato salad with pickled ginger and sesame oil
Black Tower Pinot Grigio 2006
Shanghai noodles with five spiced pork tenderloin
Black Tower Rivaner 2006
Indochine spiced sirloin of beef with a green mango salad
Black Tower Dorfelder/Pinot Noir 2006