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WBW #14: Baron zu Knyphausen 2002 Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir), Rheingau, Germany Tasting Note

I read with great curiosity about the Wine Blogging Wednesday Project and I was kind of disappointed that I only discovered it now and missed the last 13 editions. But even today I am a (3-day-) late participant to the 14th edition which is about New New World Pinot Noirs. I hope next time I’ll be more punctual and a better WBW participant.
So as for my contribution I decided to taste a German Rheingau Pinot Noir, which isn’t quite New World, but also very interesting, especially for a region which is mostly famous for its inimitable Riesling wines. So like Lenn from Lenn Devours, I chose a next door Pinot Noir, since I live in Frankfurt which is 20 km away from the Rhine vineyards. Here in Germany the Pinot Noir grape is called Spätburgunder and its most famous representatives come from the Ahr region which is located on one of the northern Rhine arms in Germany. There, Pinot’s mature to perfection and its Terroir provides the vines with everything which is needed to have a great Pinot Noir region, comparable to Burgundy.
But for this time I’ll stick to my next door region for discovering if it can also generate great reds besides its world famous whites.
The estate Baron zu Knyphausen is a truly traditional one, existing since 1141 in the winemaking village of Erbach on the Rhine.
So let’s open the bottle! The wine has a light red colour with very pale rose rim. A truly original colour, justifying some further examination of the wine. The nose is relatively cautious at the beginning, and needs a little time for aeration. After a while, one can smell mixed red berries with a certain tendency towards strawberry. A tender Vanilla note also appears and another while later a little earthy (or mineral) note appears. On the palate one can directly feel a strong alcoholic taste which nearly completely covers the soft and silky tannins. This can mean that the wine might be 1 or 2 years too young to drink and furthermore one couldn’t tell how it will develop or how big its potential is (My feeling is that its structure isn’t optimal for a good aging process, the strong alcohol covering tannins which are already so smooth and silky at that stage…but I’m not an expert on the other hand).
The savours in the palate remind the bouquet. Red berries with strawberries and a hint of cherries. A little later, light spiciness (pepper) and a discreet violet flavour appear.
My grade: 88+

As a conclusion I would say that I have drunk an interesting and pleasant wine indicating that the region can bring up some good reds. The structure of the wine made me a little contemplative but I am looking forward to try some more next-door Spätburgunder.

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Categories: Germany,Rheingau,WBW

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