Villa Wolf Pfalz Pinot Noir 2019
Pinot Noir has a long tradition in the Pfalz region of Germany, where it is known as Spa¨tburgunder. The Villa Wolf Pinot Noir is warm and medium-bodied, with a firm acid structure. Its bright black-cherry fruit is juicy, ripe, and forward, with a spicy midpalate and lingering finish. A minimum of twelve months of aging in used French oak barriques gives the wine a smoky depth and a nice touch of earthy tannins. It’s an excellent, approachable red wine for everyday dining.
The Villa Wolf Estate is owned by Ernst Loosen of the Dr. Loosen Estate in the Mosel. The goal at Villa Wolf is to produce wines that express the pure, authentic terroir of the region. Made in the classic style of the Pfalz, Villa Wolf Rieslings are drier and more full-bodied than Mosel Rieslings, with fully ripe fruit flavors and a characteristic stoniness in the aroma. To preserve the naturally high quality of the vineyards, we employ sustainable viticultural practices and emphasize gentle handling of the fruit through traditional, minimalist winemaking.
The estate is managed by a talented young winemaker, Patrick Möllendorf, who had previously worked in the cellar at Dr. Loosen. He has brought renewed energy and focus to the viticulture and winemaking at Villa Wolf. With sustainable viticulture, minimal processing and their constant pursuit of improvement, Patrick strives to capture the purity and special characteristics of the region, vineyard and grape variety in each of their wines. The philosophy is based on the belief that great wines must start in the vineyard. So Patrick works closely with nature, using sustainable practices to nurture biodiversity in the vineyards, providing a healthy and diverse microbiology in the soil. This is important for wines to express the character of the grape and the soil in which it is grown. Organic certification for the estate vineyards was achieved in 2021. This approach is also carried into the cellar, with a focus on gentle handling of the wine throughout the entire process. This approach retains the clean, fresh fruit that represents the Villa Wolf style. The team is committed to traditional vinification methods, such as fermentation and aging in large, neutral oak casks, and spontaneous fermentation with natural yeasts.
This sunny and relatively dry region served for many years as a German tourist mecca and was associated with low cost, cheerful wines. But since the 1980s, it has gained a reputation as one of Germany’s more innovative regions, which has led to increased international demand.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”