Sunday read: Black Forest Chateau

This Sunday, let’s broaden our horizon about German wines a bit further. While I am focused on rieslings mostly, there is another revolution going on in Germany and that is Spätburgunder, aka pinot noir. John Stimpfig wrote a great piece for the Financial Times.

Germany has been growing more and more of this grape variety, many of them clones from Burgundy. This article does a good job at explaining the wonder that these pinots can be. The article starts out fun:

“Should you ever need to accurately calibrate an oenophile’s knowledge of wine, here’s a handy question that will immediately expose them as buff or bluffer. Simply ask them what they think about German Spätburgunder, aka Pinot Noir. The bluffer will either stare at you blankly or snort with derision at such a preposterous idea. In marked contrast, the buff’s eyes will immediately light up before he or she enthusiastically acknowledges that Germany’s top Pinots are unquestionably giving the best of Burgundy a real run for its money.”

But he also dampens expectations with this:

“But as Monego diplomatically points out: “Compared to burgundy, we’ve only just reached Everest base camp, so there’s still a long way to go. German Pinot is a work in progress and there are many different routes to the summit.” What everyone can agree on is that there’s now a much greater recognition of German Spätburgunder beyond its home territory. But before you rush out to stock up on the latest must-have vintages, there are a couple of things you need to know. The first is that some are even harder to find and buy than burgundy. The other is that they’re often just as expensive.”

I for one, am just excited that there are exciting red wines in Germany, too…more choice, more to drink.

Have a great Sunday!

Black Forest Chateau

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4 thoughts on “Sunday read: Black Forest Chateau

  1. Have you found any around town? We had one when I worked at Bello Vino a few years ago, BV is long gone. I haven’t seen any, but I haven’t been looking.

  2. vinoinlove says:

    I don’t think German Pinot Noir will be a huge success abroad. Mostly because German red wines tend to be often too acid and sometimes I have the feeling that they are not as complete as their French and Italian brothers.

    • I have had outstanding German red wines, and they did compare to their brethren abroad. We once had an aged Dornfelder, believe it or not, that no one at the table (including two certified wine experts) thought it was German, and even worse Dornfelder. We all thought it was from France or Italy…

      There are a lot of not so good German reds out there, just like there are a lot of not so good international reds. The quality though has definitely gone up with the warmer temperatures in Germany and better skills.

      That said, I still mostly drink non-German reds because of the rather low density of great quality German reds.

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