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.
Famed Mosel Riesling winemaker Ernst Loosen purchased the Villa Wolf Estate in the Pfalz village of Wachenheim in 1996. Of course Villa Wolf produces excellent, mineral-driven dry rieslings from the estate’s sandstone, limestone and basalt soils. But its focus on Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris have generated more attention. The Pinot Noir Rose in particular is downright addictive. All of the Villa Wolf wines are clean, pure, bright, focused and extremely food-friendly. They also represent superb value. Erni Loosen calls his second winery “True Pfalz”.
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.”