What to drink this week
German Pinot Noir
These popular pale wines boast quantity and quality, enthuses Harry Eyres
Germany has a proud tradition of Pinot Noir, aka Spätburgunder, but, until recently, it was confined to a couple of spots in the Rheingau, making pale wines more admired in the home market than abroad, and the warmer southerly region of Baden. Now, partly thanks to climate change—dramatic in Germany, where the number of good vintages per decade has trebled in 30 years—pinot Noir is thriving in almost all the great German wine regions.
Why you should be drinking it
The renaissance of Pinot Noir in Germany makes perfect sense, because there is a real kinship of approach between serious Burgundian and German wine-growers. Both groups work on a micro scale, often with just a few rows of vines.
What to drink
August Kesseler works in one of the traditional Spätburgunder hotspots in the Rheingau, but makes wines quite different from the pale numbers of the past. His Pinot Noir, Spätburgunder Trocken 2014 (£27.50; www.justerinis.com) has a beautiful deep cherry nose, sweet strawberry fruit and considerable complexity. Even better is his Cuvée Max, Spätburgunder Trocken 2014 (£45.50; www.justerinis.com), which shows great finesse, precision and length, with a superb finish.
Bernhard Huber in Baden is another top-notch Spätburgunder producer, bringing out the nuances of different hillside sites. His Spätburgunder Alte Reben 2014 (right, £24.50; www.justerinis. com) has floral perfume and raspberry fruit. Of Huber’s singlevineyard Grosses Gewächs sites, Bienenberg is more lively and fresh and Sommerhalde has superb mineral complexity (both 2014, £34.50; www. justerinis.com).