What to drink this week

Ger­man Pinot Noir

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country Notebook -

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).

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