Gutshof Kraatz Wilde Kerle 2016

Wilde Kerle, meaning Wild Buddies or Wild Things (if referring to Maurice Sendak’s book ‘Where the Wild Things Are’) in German, is an Apfelwein from Gutshof Kraatz made entirely from German wild apple varieties, rich in tannins adding astringency and/or bitterness and complexity to Apfelwein or cider. It is not an easy task for Florian from Gutshof Kraatz to find wild apples. Once he finds an apple tree growing somewhere in the wild he marks the tree location and has to return to the spot at an optimal harvest date. Sometimes Florian has to even tear through bushes to collect wild apples for the Wilde Kerle. Apart from that, apple trees growing in the wild account for the relatively small size of the fruits and low fruit yields compared to the regular orchards. Bear that in mind next time you open a bottle of Wild Kerle from Gutshof Kraatz.Company: Gutshof Kraatz
Place of Origin: Nordwestuckermark-Kraatz, Germany
Apples: made from wild apple varieties
Sweetness as per label: dry
ABV: 8%
Package type: 750ml clear glass wine bottle with screw cap
Recommended type of glass: white wine glass

Appearance: pours a beautiful, crystal deep clear golden with no head. No carbonation. Body is low.

Aroma/Nose: the nose exhibits notes of white wine, red overripe apples, yellow apples, fresh sweet juicy apples, baked apples with pear. The aroma is rounded up by underlying notes of caramel and vanilla.

Taste: it starts dry with a minor residual sweetness and medium lemon-like acidity with a light tartness. The mid-palate has a low astringent taste, which smoothly moves to a smoky note, overripe apples, baked apples with vanilla and a vinous note. Wilde Kerle leaves a lovely extremely long lingering aftertaste of caramel, light apple seed-like bitterness and lightly burnt caramel-like bitterness.

Overall: Florian’s great efforts to obtain wild apples definitely paid off. Wilde Kerle tastes simply glorious! Already the first sip gave the wow effect. Not to mention oohing and aahing after every other sip. Wilde Kerle is not-entirely dry with low residual sweetness, full-bodied with perfectly balanced multiple types of apple flavours, which move smoothly from one to another. Also, its lovely lingering aftertaste seems to never end. Hence, this Apfelwein is just perfect for slowly sipping. Would pair well with any type of cheese. Taken together, Wilde Kerle is an excellent Apfelwein that will please every (even picky) palate. I will surely get more of this one. 5.5/6

Availability: from their online shop, CiderWorld Shop (a new name for Apfelwein International). In Frankfurt from Apfelweinkontor and Apfelweinhandlung. In Berlin from Schaufenster Uckermark located in Markthalle Neun. In Poland through Vinoteka in Szczecin.

Price: Florian contacted me and asked if I’d like to try their Apfelwein.

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