Pinot Noir is one of those wines that just taste so darn good when you find one that hits you in the right spot. Unfortunately, one of the spots that it also hits you in is the wallet. It seems that to get a really good quality pinot, you need to spend upwards of $30, at least in my opinion. There aren’t many under $20 value busting pinot noirs out there, and if you find one under $20, I’d actually be very afraid. I’m not one who usually subscribes to the theory that the more one spends on a bottle, the better it tastes, but I’d say, pinot noir is probably the one varietal where the correlation of price to quality is pretty consistent. This unfortunate trend has caused me to at least keep an open mind when looking for cheaper alternatives, usually from other regions outside of California and Burgundy.
This German pinot noir was given to me from a generous wine pal of mine, whom I need to keep in more contact with if this bottle is any indication of what other goodies he may be hiding in that cellar of his. I’ve had only a handful (baby sized hands of course) of German pinot. I never really knew anything about them, still don’t really know too much about them and never really had any interest in finding out anymore about them. I guess I’ve gotten used to Germany being known only for their white wines, so any time I’ve come across a red wine, mainly pinot noir, I’m usually not interested. My recent experience with this bottle, however may be the impetus for future German pinot noir exploration.
Immediately after pouring the wine out into the glass, I was amazed at the color. It was just so pretty. Most of the time, color in a wine is not what makes me ooh or ahh or is what makes me dig a wine, but something about the way this wine looked in the glass got me going. The tactile experience on the palate was just as entrancing as the visual portion of the program. Exotic spices kept coming to mind. I couldn’t even put my finger on what kinds of spices. They were like an amalgamation of baking and mediterranean spices interwoven with just-ripe enough cherry flavors and a mineral tinged finish. It was really nothing I’ve ever experienced. It had such a clean and pure taste. I managed to destroy all the nuance though, via a pork loin chop sauced with an asian inspired glaze that was a little too intense for the wine. The flavor pairings were there, but the glaze was just a little too strong. The weather has been hot and humid lately, so most of our drinking of late has been white wines, but this was a perfect red wine for the weather. Flavorful, but light on the palate and really delicious slightly chilled.
You should definitely look to Germany for other pinot noirs (Spatburgunder is the German name of pinot noir, fyi) options. I know we will.