To celebrate the launch of Vinovonk.com, I wanted something special. Living in Amstelveen, I searched for something local and discovered that the nearby winery, winery De Amsteltuin, had just launched their first sparkling wine made with the traditional method. I hopped on my electric scooter and bought two bottles of this new wine.
Why two bottles? I know that wines can be a bit shy just after launching. Waiting a couple of months could potentially destress the wine and allow it to bloom for better expression.
The Sparkling Wine, Brut, Johannes I: A Special Project
This is the first sparkling wine made using traditional methods with Johanniter grapes from Amstelveen. It’s named Johannes after the grape, and I because it’s the first edition. The grapes have been harvested by hand. The wine was vinified at the Sint Martinus winery, which has the special equipment and knowledge to make sparkling wine using the traditional method.
In the glass, you will see a light mousse. The aroma is highly aromatic, with notes of apples, pears, and a hint of apricot, but it’s not very complex. The taste is moderately acidic, with flavors of apple, pear, and a hint of citrus, but it’s not very complex. The finish and complexity could have been better as it’s quite soft. However, it’s certainly not bad. I’m looking forward to trying the other bottle that is still destressing.
About the Vineyard
The vineyard is at the center of Amsteltuin, spreading over one hectare and hosting over 3,500 wine vines of five different grape varieties: Solaris, Johanniter, Souvignier Gris, Pinotin, and Cabernet Cortis. These are hybrid grape varieties that ripen easily with less sun and are more resistant to false mildew. Douwe Woudstra is the winemaker, and I’ve learned a lot from him through our conversations and his tour during my wine course.
Terroir is a French word that describes the characteristics of the soil and environment where grapevines grow. Poor soil forces grapevines to search for nutrients and minerals, often resulting in a more flavorful fruit. This vineyard’s location was carefully chosen due to the favorable terroir. Contrary to the name Amstelveen, the soil here is loam, which is a mixture of clay and sand. This special soil contributes to the flavor, aroma, and color of the wines.
Tasting Notes for Amsteltuin Brut, Johannes I, 2021
In the glass, the wine has a light yellow color and a light mousse.
On the nose, this wine offers attractive aromas of red apple, pear, and a hint of apricot. Although the aroma is not very complex, it is still pleasant.
On the palate, this wine is dry with a low body, medium acidity, and medium alcohol content (11.5%). I tasted red and green apple, pear, and a hint of citrus notes. While the wine lacks complexity, it is still enjoyable. The finish could have been better, but the wine is quite soft and easy to drink.
Variety: 100% Johanniter
Appellation: Amstelveen, the Netherlands
Price range: €30
Visit the Winery
You can visit the winery by booking a tour with a tasting or a high wine, and relax among the vineyards. It’s a lovely place to visit, and easily accessible by bike when you’re in Amsterdam.
For more information, please visit their website at https://amsteltuin.nl/