With Germany's cool climate and emphasis on aromatic whites, especially Riesling, you'd be forgiven for overlooking Spätburgunder, as Pinot Noir is known locally. I remember tasting a few Spätburgunders back in the 90s and wrote them off as thin and weedy.
But times have changed and German winemakers are having increasing success with Pinot. Thanks partially to climate change, it's due also to the determination and skill of a handful of the top producers, most notably Bernhard Huber. It was a wine of Huber's that I tasted a several years ago which forced me to rethink my view on Spätburgunder. Huber is recognised as Germany's top Pinot producer.
“The German godfather of Pinot Noir,” Decanter Magazine.
“Germany’s greatest Pinot Noir producer,” Joel B. Payne, chief editor of the Gault Millau German Wine Guide (The Gambero Rosso of Germany).
“I have seen the occasional German Pinot that was decidedly promising. But the Huber Pinot Noirs take the whole game on to another level," James Halliday.
This is Huber's top wine and it's stuninng.
"A milestone of finesse for German pinot noir! Super-fresh and expressive nose of red cherries, red beets, delicate spices and summer flowers. Very concentrated, pure and focused palate with extremely fine tannins that feel like stroking the finest velvet. Astonishingly long and vibrant, mineral finish. Drinkable now, but best from 2023."
98 points, Stuart Pigott, jamessuckling.com, September 2021.
"Less is more. Fewer whole berries (now using only 5%-6%) and reduced use of new oak (now about 30%) have led to greater fruit precision, with cherry and cherry stone, a touch of black pepper and a hint of mint. The structure is guided by fine-grained, elegant tannins and crisp acidity. However, age will likely add another facet to its fruit purity."
97 points, Caro Maurer MW, Decanter Magazine.