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… at the end, the Germans always win

The Pinot Noir country competition

25 February 2012
Werner Elflein

und-am-ende-gewinnen-immer-die-deutschen.jpgPhoto: Pixabay
Burgundy, the motherland of Pinot Noir
Football is a simple game. Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win.
Gary Lineker

In addition to Riesling, Pinot Noir (also known as Spätburgunder) is one of the traditional German grape varieties. As early as 884, Emperor Karl III brought the red grape to Germany, where it was first cultivated in the Lake Constance region and in Baden. From the 13th century onwards, it became more widespread, especially in the Rheingau, and later in the Palatinate and the Ahr.

Although the Pinot Noir is better suited than any other red wine variety to produce unique and incomparable, elegant, finesse-rich and multi-layered wines in a comparatively cool climate, after the Second World War German winegrowers mainly produced pale-coloured, thin drinks smelling of raspberry syrup. The reputation of the German Pinot Noir was thus sustainably damaged.

It was not until the 1980s that a few ambitious German winegrowers began to think about cultivating and developing Pinot Noir. After visits to Burgundy, it quickly became clear to them that the viticultural methods there could not be copied 1:1 and that the path to a sophisticated German Pinot Noir would have its own learning curve. They drastically reduced yields, separated from inferior high-yielding clones and perfected barrique ageing. Only gradually did this work bear fruit. Today German Pinot Noirs are quite capable of not only catching up with their Burgundian competitors, but in some cases even surpassing them in quality.

However, several of our jurors did not want to believe this at first. They insisted on the long winemaking tradition in Burgundy and pointed to the experience advantage of French winemakers, which could not be made up for within a few years. Two fractions formed. One saw Burgundy in the lead, the other expected an exciting head-to-head race in an unprejudiced blind tasting. The bet was on.

Each fraction chose nine wines of which they were particularly convinced. In addition, there were two so-called pirates, a Pinot Noir Précoce from the Ahr and a Pinot Noir from Croatia. When selecting the German Pinot Noirs, a wine from the lower price category was also deliberately chosen: the Pinot Noir from the Jakob Sebastian winery in the Ahr region cost just € 10 ex farm.

During the blind tasting, we asked the jurors to fill in the supposed origin of the individual wines on a questionnaire.

aloxe-corton.jpgPhoto: Pixabay
Aloxe-Corton town sign

The result was surprising. The first three places were taken by German Pinot Noirs. Almost all the jurors thought that the first-placed Hecklinger Schlossberg by Bernhard Huber was a prototypical representative of Burgundy. Second place was shared by Friedrich Becker's Sankt Paul and Chat Sauvage's Assmannshäuser Frankenthal. With the Latricières-Chambertin Grand Cru from Trapet, the best French Pinot reached only fourth place. And: The ten-euro Pinot Noir from Jakob Sebastian was easily able to keep up with some of the Premier Crus (€ 30 to € 40).

The evaluation of the questionnaires also showed: Only one juror was accurate in identifying the origins, all the others were only correct for about half of the wines – which would also have been expected with a random selection and a 50 percent hit probability.

The wines at a glance

Symbols
The rating of the wine reflects the mean value from a tasting by our jury.
The wine was evaluated in a blind tasting.
The wine was tasted as a barrel sample or before an official test number (Amtliche Prüfungsnummer or Staatliche Prüfnummer) was issued.
The wine exhibited a sensory abnormality during our tasting. This does not necessarily have to be a qualitative defect or a wine fault. In the case of a qualitative impairment, a devaluation or rejection was made depending on the type and severity of the defect or wine fault.

Friedrich Becker

Hauptstraße 29
76889 Schweigen-Rechtenbach
Germany
Phone: +49 6342 290
Fax: +49 6342 6148
Internet: www.friedrichbecker.de
E‑mail: wein@friedrichbecker.de

All wines of the producer at weinfreaks.de

WinereddryPinot Noir

2008 Schweigen Sonnenberg Sankt P**l Spätburgunder Qualitätswein trocken

Großes Gewächs VDP

Germany

Pfalz • Geschützte Ursprungsbezeichnung (g. U.)

Amtliche Prüfungsnummer 5066012 36 10 • 13.5 % alcohol

18

Tasted on 25 January 2020 by Werner Elflein

Initially still transparent cherry red, increasingly opaque after contact with air. Complex bouquet with fine roasting flavours, chocolate, green herbs and dark berry fruits. On the tongue with high concentration, but not in contradiction to the finesse. Good acid foundation, harmonious balance of all taste components. Fine wood spice, perfectly integrated fruit, excellent length, reverberation for minutes.

17.5

Tasted on 25 February 2012 by our jury

Bouchard Père & Fils

15, Rue du Château
21200 Beaune
France
Phone: +33 3 80248045
Internet: www.bouchard-pereetfils.com
E‑mail: caveau@bouchard-pereetfils.com

All wines of the producer at weinfreaks.de

WinereddryPinot Noir

2005 Volnay Premier Cru Caillerets Ancienne Cuvée Carnot

France

Bourgogne ↳ Volnay • Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC)

13.5 % alcohol

16

Tasted on 25 February 2012 by our jury

Camus-Bruchon & Fils

16, Rue de Chorey
21420 Savigny-lès-Beaune
France
Phone: +33 3 80215108
Fax: +33 3 80261021

All wines of the producer at weinfreaks.de

WinereddryPinot Noir

2009 Savigny Premier Cru Les Narbantons

France

Bourgogne ↳ Savigny-lès-Beaune • Appellation d'origine protegée (AOP)

13.5 % alcohol

15

Tasted on 25 February 2012 by our jury

Chat Sauvage

Hohlweg 23
65366 Geisenheim
Germany
Phone: +49 6722 937258
Fax: +49 6722 937258
Internet: www.chat-sauvage.de
E‑mail: pinot@chat-sauvage.de

All wines of the producer at weinfreaks.de

WinereddryPinot Noir

2009 Assmannshausen Frankenthal Pinot Noir Qualitätswein

Erstes Gewächs

Germany

Rheingau • Geschützte Ursprungsbezeichnung (g. U.)

Amtliche Prüfungsnummer 26067 4 11 • 13.5 % alcohol

17.5

Tasted on 25 February 2012 by our jury

Fourrier

7, Route de Dijon
21220 Gevrey-Chambertin
France
Phone: +33 3 80343399

All wines of the producer at weinfreaks.de

WinereddryPinot Noir

2009 Gevrey-Chambertin

France

Bourgogne ↳ Gevrey-Chambertin • Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC)

13 % alcohol

15.5

Tasted on 25 February 2012 by our jury

Rudolf Fürst

Hohenlindenweg 46
63927 Bürgstadt am Main
Germany
Phone: +49 9371 8642
Fax: +49 9371 69230
Internet: www.weingut-rudolf-fuerst.de
E‑mail: info@weingut-rudolf-fuerst.de

All wines of the producer at weinfreaks.de

WinereddryPinot Noir

2009 Klingenberg Schlossberg Spätburgunder R Qualitätswein trocken

Großes Gewächs VDP

Germany

Franken • Geschützte Ursprungsbezeichnung (g. U.)

Amtliche Prüfungsnummer 1095 11 11 • 13 % alcohol

17.5

Tasted on 31 March 2017 by Werner Elflein

17.5

Tasted on 31 March 2017 by Ioulia Elflein

16.5

Tasted on 25 February 2012 by our jury

Bernhard Huber

Heimbacher Weg 19
79364 Malterdingen
Germany
Phone: +49 7644 929722
Fax: +49 7644 929722
Internet: www.weingut-huber.com
E‑mail: info@weingut-huber.com

All wines of the producer at weinfreaks.de

WinereddryPinot Noir

2008 Hecklingen Schlossberg Spätburgunder R Qualitätswein trocken

Großes Gewächs VDP

Germany

Baden • Geschützte Ursprungsbezeichnung (g. U.)

Amtliche Prüfungsnummer 472 24 10 • 13.5 % alcohol

18

Tasted on 25 February 2012 by our jury

Keller

Bahnhofstraße 1
67592 Flörsheim-Dalsheim
Germany
Phone: +49 6243 456
Fax: +49 6243 6686
Internet: www.keller-wein.de
E‑mail: info@keller-wein.de

All wines of the producer at weinfreaks.de

WinereddryPinot Noir

2008 Dalsheim Bürgel Spätburgunder Qualitätswein trocken

Großes Gewächs VDP

Germany

Rheinhessen • Geschützte Ursprungsbezeichnung (g. U.)

Amtliche Prüfungsnummer 4275043 52 10 • 13.5 % alcohol

16

Tasted on 25 February 2012 by our jury

Holger Koch

Mannwerkstraße 4
79235 Vogtsburg im Kaiserstuhl
Germany
Phone: +49 7662 912258
Fax: +49 7662 949859
Internet: www.weingut-holger-koch.de
E‑mail: hk@weingut-holger-koch.de

All wines of the producer at weinfreaks.de

WinereddryPinot Noir

2009 Pinot Noir Qualitätswein ***

Germany

Baden • Geschützte Ursprungsbezeichnung (g. U.)

Amtliche Prüfungsnummer 3416 14 10 • 13 % alcohol

15.5

Tasted on 25 February 2012 by our jury

Philippe & Vincent Léchenaut

14, Rue des Seuillets
21700 Nuits-Saint-Georges
France
Phone: +33 3 80610596

All wines of the producer at weinfreaks.de

WinereddryPinot Noir

2009 Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru Les Damodes

France

Bourgogne ↳ Nuits-Saint-Georges • Appellation d'origine protegée (AOP)

13.5 % alcohol

15

Tasted on 25 February 2012 by our jury

Maillard Père & Fils

2, Rue Joseph Bard
21200 Chorey-les-Beaune
France
Phone: +33 3 80221067
Internet: www.domainemaillard.com
E‑mail: contact@domainemaillard.com

All wines of the producer at weinfreaks.de

WinereddryPinot Noir

2006 Corton-Renardes

Grand Cru

France

Bourgogne ↳ Corton • Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC)

13.5 % alcohol

16

Tasted on 25 February 2012 by our jury

Lucien Le Moine

1, Ruelle Morlot
21200 Beaune
France
Phone: +33 3 80249998
Fax: +33 3 80268876
Internet: www.lucienlemoine.com
E‑mail: l.m.sas@lucienlemoine.com

All wines of the producer at weinfreaks.de

WinereddryPinot Noir

2007 Clos de la Roche

Grand Cru

France

Bourgogne ↳ Clos de la Roche • Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC)

13.5 % alcohol

16

Tasted on 25 February 2012 by our jury

reduction

Maison de Montille

Rue du Pied de la Vallée
21190 Volnay
France
Phone: +33 3 80213914
Fax: +33 3 80213907
Internet: www.demontille.com
E‑mail: contact@demontille.com

All wines of the producer at weinfreaks.de

WinereddryPinot Noir

2007 Beaune Premier Cru Les Perrières

France

Bourgogne ↳ Beaune • Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC)

13 % alcohol • bottled under the former name de Montille – Deux Montille Soeur Frères

17

Tasted on 25 February 2012 by our jury

Fernand & Laurent Pillot

2, Place des Noyers
21190 Chassagne-Montrachet
France
Phone: +33 3 80219983
Fax: +33 3 80219260
Internet: www.vinpillot.com
E‑mail: contact@vinpillot.com

All wines of the producer at weinfreaks.de

WinereddryPinot Noir

2005 Beaune Premier Cru Boucherottes

France

Bourgogne ↳ Beaune premier cru • Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC)

13.5 % alcohol

15.5

Tasted on 29 April 2023 by Werner Elflein

17

Tasted on 25 February 2012 by our jury

Jakob Sebastian

Brückenstraße 2
53506 Rech
Germany
Phone: +49 2643 9361-0
Fax: +49 2643 9361-6
Internet: www.jakob-sebastian.de
E‑mail: info@jakob-sebastian.de

All wines of the producer at weinfreaks.de

WinereddryPinot Noir

2006 Heimersheim Berg Spätburgunder Qualitätswein trocken

Germany

Ahr • Geschützte Ursprungsbezeichnung (g. U.)

Amtliche Prüfungsnummer 1795083 11 07 • 13 % alcohol

16

Tasted on 25 February 2012 by our jury

Seeger

Rohrbacher Straße 101
69181 Leimen
Germany
Phone: +49 6224 72178
Fax: +49 6224 78363
Internet: www.seegerweingut.de
E‑mail: info@seegerweingut.de

All wines of the producer at weinfreaks.de

WinereddryPinot Noir

2008 Heidelberg Herrenberg Blauer Spätburgunder R Qualitätswein trocken

Germany

Baden • Geschützte Ursprungsbezeichnung (g. U.)

Amtliche Prüfungsnummer 620 24 10 • 13.5 % alcohol

15

Tasted on 25 February 2012 by our jury

Jean Stodden

Rotweinstraße 7-9
53506 Rech
Germany
Phone: +49 2643 3001
Fax: +49 2643 3003
Internet: www.stodden.de
E‑mail: info@stodden.de

All wines of the producer at weinfreaks.de

WinereddryPinot Noir

2009 Rech Herrenberg Spätburgunder Qualitätswein trocken

Großes Gewächs VDP

Germany

Ahr • Geschützte Ursprungsbezeichnung (g. U.)

Amtliche Prüfungsnummer 1795090 7 11 • 13.5 % alcohol

17.5

Tasted on 26 June 2021 by Werner Elflein

Slightly cloudy, light cherry red with lightening at the edge of the glass. In the nose present roasted aromas and sour cherry. Ethereal fragrance component. Woody and spicy on the palate. Present but friable and well integrated tannins, stable acidity, discreet fruitiness, lots of spice. Excellent length.

16.5

Tasted on 25 February 2012 by our jury

WinereddryPinot Noir

2006 Spätburgunder Qualitätswein trocken

Germany

Ahr • Geschützte Ursprungsbezeichnung (g. U.)

Amtliche Prüfungsnummer 1795090 1 08 • 13.5 % alcohol

14

Tasted on 25 February 2012 by our jury

Trapet

53, Route de Beaune
21220 Gevrey-Chambertin
France
Phone: +33 3 80343040
Fax: +33 3 80518634
Internet: www.trapet.fr
E‑mail: message@trapet.fr

All wines of the producer at weinfreaks.de

WinereddryPinot Noir

2009 Latricières-Chambertin

Grand Cru

France

Bourgogne ↳ Latricières-Chambertin • Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC)

13 % alcohol

17

Tasted on 25 February 2012 by our jury