WorldWine Tasting Report

2011-01-24

Germany's Pinot noirs

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Germany's Pinots are world class. This ist at least what German winemakers and wine merchants like to tell us, and many winelovers are more than ready to prove them right. Our judgement, after having tasted 250 German Pinots during the last months, is somewhat more nuanced.

Fact is, that we were able to discover a consistent number of delightful wines and that the 2007 to 2009 vintages were much more convincing than the Austrian Blauburgunders we had tasted for our tasting report of last November. But fact is also that there is still a noticeable distance to the best red Burgundies, if we only consider the results of our 2009-tastings. One could argue that the tasted vintages (2006 & 2007 in Burgundy, 2007 - 2009 in Germany) were not the same, that a handful of the most renowned German producers had not submitted their wines - the same happened in Burgundy -, and that the German wines are considerably cheaper than their French counterparts. But the facts speak for themselves: If we were able to award 38 five-star-awards to the 278 red Burgundies - two of them were even rated "dream wines" - among the 250 plus German Pinots (50 of them were already part of our tasting report "Franconia renewed") we found only 18 five-star-wines and none of them came close to a rating as "dream wine".

One of the top scorers of our tastings come from the steep slopes of Assmannshausen in the Rheingau area. (Foto: E. Supp)

Of course, such comparisons are always somewhat ahistorical, and you have to consider where German Pinot came from (light, thin, sweet, short) if you really want to appreciate the actual performance of Germany's winemakers. In this perspective it is even justified to state that German Pinot has (nearly) closed the gap on the world's best.

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ENO WorldWine's 33 top scorers

*****Burggarten (Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler) - Heimersheimer Burggarten Spätburgunder R 2008
 
*****Karl H. Johner (Vogtsburg-Bischoffingen) - Baden Spätburgunder SJ 2005
 
*****Krebs (Freinsheim) - Freinsheimer Musikantenbuckel Spätburgunder 2007
 
*****Dr. Heger (Ihringen) - Achkarrer Schlossberg Spätburgunder *** 2007 Großes Gewächs
 
*****Jürgen Ellwanger (Winterbach) - Hebsacker Lichtenberg Spätburgunder 2008 Großes Gewächs
 
*****Felix und Kilian Hunn (Gottenheim am Tuniberg) - Gottenheimer Kirchberg Pinot noir 2008
 
*****Burggarten (Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler) - Neuenahrer Schieferlay Spätburgunder 2008 QbA
 
*****Assmannshausen (Rüdesheim) - Assmannshäuser Höllenberg Spätburgunder Mauerwein 2008 Auslese tr. Goldkapsel
 
*****Knab (Endingen) - Endinger Engelsberg Spätburgunder *** A IX 2007
 
*****Jean Stodden (Rech / Ahr) - Ahr Spätburgunder Alte Reben 2007
 
***** ?Koegler - Hof Bechtermünz (Eltville) - Eltviller Sonnenberg Spätburgunder 2007 Erstes Gewächs
 
***** ?Stern (Hochstadt) - Pfalz Spätburgunder *** 2008 QbA
 
***** ?Kurt Darting (Bad Dürkheim) - Dürkheimer Feuerberg Spätburgunder 2007 QbA
 
***** ?Emil Marget (Hügelheim) - Baden Spätburgunder AR *** 2007
 
***** ?Knab (Endingen) - Endinger Engelsberg Spätburgunder R 2007
 
***** ?Knipser (Laumersheim) - Pfalz Spätburgunder „Kalkmergel“ 2007
 
***** ?Dr. Heger (Ihringen) - Achkarrer Schlossberg Spätburgunder *** 2008 Großes Gewächs
 
***** ?Manincor - Graf Enzenberg (Kaltern - Caldaro) - Südtiroler Lagrein Rubatsch 2008
 
**** +H. J. Kreuzberg (Dernau) - Neuenahrer Sonnenberg Spätburgunder 2008 Großes Gewächs
 
****Mayschoß-Altenahr eG (Mayschoss / Ahr) - Ahr Spätburgunder Selection XII 2007 QbA
 
**** +Wilhelm Mohr Erben (Lorch) - Lorcher Bodental - Steinberg Spätburgunder 2007 Erstes Gewächs
 
**** +Assmannshausen (Rüdesheim) - Assmannshäuser Höllenberg Spätburgunder 2008 Spätlese tr. Goldkapsel
 
**** +Staatsweingüter Kloster Eberbach (Eltville) - Kloster Eberbach Spätburgunder Aus dem Cabinetkeller 2008
 
**** +August Kesseler (Rüdesheim) - Assmannshäuser Höllenberg Spätburgunder 2007
 
**** +Friedrich Zimmerle (Korb) - Württemberg Samtrot 2007
 
**** +Philipp Kuhn (Laumersheim) - Laumersheimer Steinbuckel Spätburgunder 2007 Großes Gewächs
 
**** +Pflüger (Bad Dürkheim) - Pfalz Spätburgunder Vom Kieselstein 2008
 
**** +Rings (Freinsheim) - Freinsheimer Gottesacker Spätburgunder 2008 QbA
 
**** +Karl-Heinz & Andreas Meyer (Heuchelheim-Klingen) - Herrenpfad Spätburgunder 2007
 
**** +Alde Gott Winzergenossenschaft eG (Sasbachwalden) - Baden Spätburgunder 2009 Auslese tr.
 
**** +Dr. Heger (Ihringen) - Ihringer Winklerberg Spätburgunder 2008 ***
 
**** +Michel-Pfannebecker (Flomborn) - Westhofener Morstein Spätburgunder barrique 2007 Spätlese tr.
 
**** +Jean Stodden (Rech / Ahr) - Recher Herrenberg Spätburgunder 2008 Großes Gewächs

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