Spätburgunder for Springtime! (Spatburgunder)

5/22/18 -

As we move towards warmer weather, there's an undeniable pull towards red wines that have a freshness and verve to match our temperament (and cuisine). We've been fortunate to have a slew of Spätburgunder from Germany grace our shelves as of late, and wanted to put some focus on this oft-overlooked region for red wines.

Germany has become home to many red grape varieties including Lemberger, Trollinger, Portugieser, Zweigelt, Dornfelder, and the red with the most hectarage: Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir). According to the Wines of Germany website, around 11.5% of the countries' vineyards are planted to the grape, from the slate soils of the Ahr down to the limestone and colored sandstone of Baden. Such a fragile and fickle variety takes well to the marginally (now) warming German climate, and winemakers have been working with the grape since the late ninth century, using clonal and massal selections from France as well as clones later developed within Germany, some more suited to warmer sites in the southern reaches of the wine-growing region. 

As can be imagined, styles of German Pinot Noir can range from fresh, mineral and high-toned to over-oaked, over-extracted hot messes. We've chosen to focus on the lighter, fresher side of the spectrum. Today we are pleased to offer wines from new producers (to us): Benedikt Baltes in Franken and Julia Bertram in the Ahr, alongside perennial favorites from Baden: Enderle & Moll and Holger Koch. These wines all have their place on the table with fare ranging from salads with spring peas and goat cheese, roasted chicken and wild mushrooms, to even a rare tuna steak, and some should even find a place in your cellar! Cari Bernard

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