Germany’s Pfalz Shows Harmony

Jamessuckling.com / Stuart Pigott · November 2017

Weissburgunder Kirschgarten GG 2015 „With its melted-butter and minty character, this is a very distinctive wine that's rather less opulent than many 2015 weissburgunder GGs. The distinct creaminess on the palate leads to a soft finish with many subtle herbal notes.” 92/100

Riesling Steinbuckel GG 2015 „Intensely herbal and lemon-curd nose. In spite of the power, this is a rather cool and bright wine, with the bone dryness and the clarity of the long finish accentuating this.” 93/100

Spätburgunder RdP 2013 „Still incredibly fresh, this has enormous energy and finesse, this is a super-concentrated but beautifully balance pinot that proves Germany can play in the first league. Masses of fine dry tannin at the finish. Wait for the release of this in 2018-2019 then pounce! It will be delicious and has as much potential as top Grand Crus!” 96/100

Spätburgunder Kirschgarten GG 2013 „Seductively ripe and spicy but with no hint of overripeness. Enormous power and tannic structure but with no hint of exaggerated extraction. Great balance on the enormous long finish. Drink or hold for 2, 12, 20 years or even more!” 95/100

Spätburgunder RdP 2015 “This is so young it still has a ton of puppy fat. Very sweet raspberry nose that's rich and ripe with a ton of tannin and bright acidity, too. It will need the time until its release in 2020-21 for all this to bind together but will be a stunning pinot.” 95/100

Spätburgunder Réserve 2012 “What a ravishing perfume this pinot has. You could easily mistake it for a Côte de Nuits wine from one of the top crus. A very sophisticated wine with great subtlety and harmony. Drink or hold.” 94/100

Syrah Réserve 2012 “Much more smoky and peppery than the regular 2012 syrah from Knipser, this is has tons of fresh blackberry fruit and neat, dry tannins. The finish is very fresh and animating without a hint of exaggeration of any kind. Drink or hold.“ 94/100

Chardonnay **** 2012 “From the big, very ripe (candied oranges, hint of apricots) but subtle nose you could mistake this for a Grand Cru white Burgundy. Rich and powerful with a long, ripe but refined finish. Drink or hold.“ 93/100

Riesling Halbstück 2012 Complex toasty, dried-peach and lemon-curd character, the hint of oak easily mastered by the concentrated mid-weight body and the bone-dry finish that's long and subtle. Impressive now but with another 15 plus years of ageing potential. This was matured in 600-liter Halbstück casks of more or less neutral oak.” 93/100

Riesling Mandelpfad GG 2016 A very serious bone-dry wine with a delicate aromas that reminds me of a garden after rain — the wet leaves, flowers and fruits. It's at once sleek and powerful with quite a serious tannin structure that fits very well with the minerality. Together they drive the long, complex finish. The moderate acidity makes this easy to drink now, but during the next five years it will continue to gain in interest.” 93/100

Cuvée X R 2012 Deep and refined cassis nose that makes me think of a top Margaux where the oak is almost perfectly integrated. On the palate at once rich and fresh, this is a beautifully balanced Bordeaux-type blend with long, creamy finish that the dry tannins keep pushing out. One of the best wines of this type ever made in Germany. Drink or hold.“ 94/100

Riesling Steinbuckel GG 2016 This is a very impressive dry riesling that is not a jot heavy but also more minerally than fruity. I love the flinty, youthful nose. Very long, sleek and cool finish in spite of all the power. Drink or hold.“ 94/100

Spätburgunder Burgweg GG 2013 This stunning pinot noir is still very young and is only beginning to show what riches it has. The refined sweetness masks the very serious tannins structure behind it. The finish is very long and filigree. Better from 2018 and has at least 20 years ahead of it.” 94/100

Spätburgunder Mandelpfad GG 2013 Still quite smoky (from oak), but there's a also a lot of earthy power in a compact and concentrated form, the dry tannins giving the finish great drive and intensity. Better from 2018, and this has perhaps 20 years ahead of it.” 94/100

Spätburgunder RdP 2014 “This is a suave and sophisticated pinot with fragrance and finesse. The harmony of fruit and tannin is almost perfect, the finish long and fine. Due for release in 2019-20 but will still be ever so young then.” 94/100

Sauvignon Gris ***  2012 Lots of peach and melon and only a hint of toasty aromas from barrel-fermentation and sauvignon green notes. A rich wine but the long finish has enough vitality to carry this. Indeed, this is still fresh for its age and should hold for another five plus years. Very limited production.“ 93/100

Spätburgunder RdP 2012 “So sweet and rich that you barely feel the tannins buried beneath all this. An imposing wine that lacks the last bit of tension. Drink or hold.“ 93/100

Cuvée X 2012 “A complex nose of redcurrants and blackcurrants with hints of red bell pepper and spicy oak. Medium- to full-bodied with a stack of moderate dry tannins that are already beautifully integrated. Long, very well-balanced finish.“ 92/100

Spätburgunder Kalkmergel 2013 “At once moderately rich, elegant and silky, this is a rather sophisticated pinot noir that's got a wonderful harmony of fruit, tannin and body. Impressively long finish. Drink or hold.“ 92/100

Syrah 2012 „A spicy and peppery rendition but one that's rather a delicate expression of cool-climate syrah that seems quite sleek at first — before the tannic power comes gently through and makes it clear this is no slouch. Drink or hold.“ 92/100

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