Asparagus (spargel) is so loved in Germany it is nicknamed "Königsgemüse" (King's vegetable). Asparagus season begins in April and runs through June; during this time asparagus dishes are on the menu at most restaurants and homes in Germany and Alsace. White asparagus are those shoots that haven't seen sunlight and are harvested when the tips of the plant start to lift the lightly mounded dirt on the ground's surface. White asparagus is milder in taste than green asparagus and, during a spring trip to Germany, we discovered that it is a national obsession.
Manuel Eligio cleaning the inside of an oak oval. Navarro's experience, and recent French research, shows that refrigerated fermentation in oak ovals and aging sur lie produces superior wines than if the wine was fermented and aged in stainless steel or barrels.
The crew suckering Hammer Olsen Muscat on a stormy day. (We're not complaining about the weather.)
The Alsatian wine that is traditionally served with spargel is a dry Muscat; the wine's piquant acidity is refreshing and it's flavors and floral bouquet bespeak springtime. Even the wine's pale gold color, with greenish highlights, suggests it accompany springtime veggies. The Muscat Blanc à petits grains grapes were grown in the lower part of Navarro's Hammer Olsen vineyard with a high clay content in which this variety thrives. The grapes were harvested at night, when the fruit was cold, to minimize any harshness from the skins during pressing. Then the juice was cold fermented and aged on the lees for eight months in French oak ovals adding an intriguing earthy note to the orange-spring herb flavors. Try it with asparagus, white or green, machts nichts.Gold Medal winner.