“As far back as 1285 the Cistercian monks brought Pinot Noir to Malterdingen. They planted there because the soils, they’d identified, were very similar to Chambolle Musigny. Clever chaps, clearly. Pinot has been grown there ever since. So if you thought that German Pinot Noir is a new idea, think again! What is a newer aspect though are individuals who are taking this history and brilliant terroirs, and putting it to good use. Enter Bernhard, who says Pinot Noir ‘should be dancing at the nose and on the tongue, not too much tannin, must be playful…’ Here’s to that! Forget about over extracted dry reds, these wines scream finesse, elegance, restraint… Some days you get lucky, and today was one such day as Bengt and I are the first ‘outsiders’ to get to taste the just assembled 2010. After tasting these and the stellar 2009 line-up, I’ll say this now: no-one yet realizes how great this producer is. I’ve been coming to Europe each year now for a decade but rarely have I been as blown away by a tasting as we were about to be at this one. In fact, the last time was the visit to Huber last year. This only served to confirm things! 2010 in Baden was a late year, mid-June flowering, which by the way ‘used to be normal’. The flowering time very cool, resulting in small berries, many without seeds, which is wonderful for Pinot Noir, and Bernhard says it reminds him of vintages like 1990, 93 and 2004.Wonderful potential! Yields were low – 25hl/ha in 2010, lower than normal, which is around healthy. Organic practices are used, massive rainfall region, 1000 litres per year, so huge fungal pressures. Biodynamics was trialled until 1994, but abandoned. Not say that he’s not considering it again though. To stand still is to go backwards. Bernhard says the 2009 vintage is ‘Everybody’s darling’! Plenty of ripeness, really lush wines, still showing terroir, but on the fuller side. A very complete vintage.” Patrick Walsh, CellarHand (Importer of Huber).
25% whole bunch, 12 to 25 year old vines, deeper rootstock. More minerality, all second and third use oak. A slightly more open earthy nose, again lovely crisp acidity, chewy but ultimately supple palate, fresh strawberry, crimson earth, you could really smell this for ages and ages. There’s a lot going on here. Again exceedingly fine and pure fruit, racy acidity, oozing with purity and focus, super delicate but concentrated.