Seven German Pinot Noirs

German Pinot Noir (known locally as Spätburgunder) can be quite wonderful, and of late seems to have been getting better. But Pinot is a tricky grape and it’s sensitive to terroir and yields, and results can be quite variable. I was sent these seven wines to try, all of which have retail representation in the UK. These are my notes. They were pretty good, with a couple of stand outs.

Villa Wolf Pinot Noir 2016 Pfalz, Germany
12.5% alcohol
£12.50 Oddbins
Very attractive, sweet, floral, approachable cherry and raspberry fruit. Has a sweet, smooth mouthfeel with some silky texture. Lovely approachable Pinot showing some elegance and drinkability, with just a subtle savoury, slightly cedary, herby edge. Nice weight. 90/100

Salwey Pinot Noir 2015 Kaiserstuhl, Baden, Germany
13% alcohol
£16.95 Tanners
Supple and sweet with some sour cherry and plum fruit. Nicely elegant with some juiciness and a bit of spiky acid in the background. Fruity and quite elegant with some savoury oak. 89/100

Weingut Burgermeister Carl Koch Spätburgunder 2015 Rheinhessen, Germany
13.5% alcohol
£16 Roberson
Rounded, sweet red cherry fruit with some herb and undergrowth notes. In the mouth this has nice texture with a smooth feel, but also some hints of mushroom and earth. Sweetly fruited but also has a savoury side to it. 88/100

Hans Baer Pinot Noir Dry 2016 Pfalz, Germany
13% alcohol
£7 Tesco
This is fresh, sappy and bright with nice sweet cherry and plum fruit. It has some nice green hints that integrate very nicely into the sweet fruit, with a touch of raspberry brightness on the finish. Great value for money. 88/100

Hofmann Spätburgunder Trocken 2015 Rheinhessen, Germany
13% alcohol
£12.50 Slurp.co.uk
This has keen lemon and green apple acidity sitting underneath peppery, spicy red cherry and redcurrant fruit. Lively and zippy with lovely focus. It’s a very bright, striking style of Pinot, that has the acidity of a white wine. I like it. 90/100

Karl H. Johner Pinot Noir Enselberg 2016 Baden, Germany
14% alcohol
£20.99 Waitress
This is lovely. Refined and expressive with floral red and black cherry fruit. There’s a luxurious texture in the mouth: it’s silky but with bright framing. Velvet and tassels with a seductive personality. Finishes with a little bit of grip, and a twist of pepper and spice. Tastes somewhere between new world and old, and it’s all the better for it. 94/100

Palataia Pinot Noir 2017 Pfalz, Germany
13.5% alcohol
£10 Marks & Spencer
Vivid, light and juicy with bright red cherry and cranberry fruit, as well as notes of herbs, tar and bitter damson on the finish. Sweet and savoury at the same time, and light in body. A very supple, drinkable style, but quite clunky and grippy on the finish. 87/100

 

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