Pinot Noir grape
It seems that I’ve been drinking the right stuff: “Blauer Spätburgunder” as the Germans call it, Pinot Noir is all the vogue in “the German lands”. Traditionally, Germany has always been considered a white wine producer. The recent rediscovery of Riesling and the boom in worldwide Riesling demand supports this view.
Now it seems domestic attention has shifted to the colour red. In particular the Pinot Noir wines show a tremendous rise in quality and consumer demand. Wine experts in Germany praise the progress made and estimate that an increase in demand for German Pinot Noir is going to follow the Riesling boom.
But red varieties are no strangers to Germany, as I have pointed out in one of my recent blog entries (“Old friends, wine from the Mosel and other culinary delights”, 16. September 2007). Where would German red wines be if politicians had not meddled in the vintners’ affairs in the 18th century, as elector Clemens Wenzeslaus of Saxonia did along the Mosel?
Vintage time for Pinot Noir 2007
My recent explorations of German wines made from the Pinot Noir grape can only confirm the wine writers’ opinions, though they mainly point to the wine regions of Ahr, Baden, Rheingau and Rheinhessen and seem to forget the next big thing, Pinot Noir from the Mosel.
I argue that the quality of Mosel Pinot Noir wines is as good as wines from the other regions and you will get a good drop at much less expense. The Ahr, pioneering Pinot Noir grapes for many decades, has always been considered a high-price red wine region. However, you do not have to spend €12 to 20 per bottle.
My favourite Mosel Pinot Noir wine producer, the winery of Alfons Sebastiani in Mehring offers a beautiful Pinot Noir for €5,40 the 0.75 litres bottle.
Another great Pinot Noir producer on the Mosel is Weingut Markus Molitor in Wehlen. I tasted his 2004 Molitor Spätburgunder at the Weinhaus in Trier (opposite the Karl Marx Haus in Brückenstrasse 7); it is very drinkable.
Less affordable are the Molitor 2004 Pinot Noir wines from the locations Graacher Himmelreich and Brauneberger Klostergarten (€35 to 49 /075 l bottle). These prices are an indicator for the general trend; Mosel Pinot Noir wines seem to be becoming the new cult wines. Wine producers and consumers will benefit from it.
As for the average wine drinker like myself, I do not worry about high prices as long as there are plenty of new wines to find, explore, and taste. My recommendation is to try some German Pinot Noir wines.