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2018 Falkenstein Niedermenniger Herrenberg 'Red Wine' (Pinot Noir)

Falkenstein

Regular price $28.99

2018 Niedermenniger Herrenberg 'Red Wine' (Pinot Noir)
Hofgut Falkenstein

Saar, Germany (Mosel)

$28.99 US Low
$25.99 on +3 (code: 3saves3)

 

Pinot Noir has been coming on really strong in Germany in the last 5+ years.  In fact a good friend who sells a LOT of it has tagged it as “Red Riesling” and I kind of like that term.  Besides it being from Germany’s Riesling terroirs, the wine also does not go through malolactic fermentation.  That helps retain the natural acidity of course.  More elegant, more transparent, red-fruited, acidity, and a beautiful perfume.  What’s not to like for $26?  I have had a decent amount of German Pinot Noir and the wines have the body of a good Loire Sancerre red, with more of the aromatics and fruit of Burgundy.  2017 was a warm year so there is a shade more to the depth on this one.
 
We do not have ratings yet on the 2018, but to give you an idea 2018 in Germany was great for Pinot Noir and the vintage was excellent for reds.  So consider these 2017 notes as a baseline to go up from to help give you an idea of what to expect if you are curious.

(2017) 92 pts RP Wine Advocate
The 2017 Niedermenniger Herrenberg Red Wine Trocken is intensely fruity and ripe on the deep, flinty, spicy and tart nose, with pepper, red berry and banana aromas and some toasty and black tea notes. Full-bodied and dense on the palate, with young and refreshing acidity, this has more substance, fruit intensity and flesh than the 2016. The finish is intense and powerful, very pure and fresh and reveals remarkable complexity with fine and firm tannins. An impressive red wine from the cool Saar. Bottled in May 2019, tasted in June 2019.
 
(2017) 91 pts Vinous (Schildknecht)
This 100% Pinot Noir is labeled simply, in English, “Red Wine” as the authorities have recently called into question the varietal character of certain clones, including one that Erich Weber planted nearly three decades ago, and he had no stomach for arguing the issue. Ripe cherry is headily and hauntingly garlanded in wisteria, then laced with iodine and green herbal concentrate for a bittersweet, lightly medicinal palate impression. There is persistent floral inner-mouth perfume as well as high-toned cooling and pungent shadings of mint, holly berry and green tea such as one would more likely encounter in a white wine; the same could be said of the bright juiciness conveyed on a clinging finish. These vines really rose to the occasion of a difficult vintage, if not quite to the challenge presented by their fellow Pinot in the Sonnenberg. (There is a second Herrenberg Pinot Noir from this vintage (not this wine - Tom) which I did not taste. Incidentally, brightness in Pinot Noir from this estate owes much to an absence of malolactic conversion. For other unorthodox details, consult my review of the 2014.)
 
Importer:  They are making the best Riesling of Erich and Johannes’ meteoric careers, and I could have easily highlighted their study in perfect high-wire balance, the 2019 Niedermenniger Herrenberg Riesling Spätlese feinherb. But the Pinot Noir is delightful. Ripe, accessible cherry aromas and no tannin or fat. I think it hews closer to true Pinot character than anything I’ve tried from outside the gilded confines of Burgundy, and it’s better than anything I’ve tried for the same price made within them.
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