A Pinot Noir from Germany has beaten competition from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the US to top a Decanter tasting designed to find the best Pinots in the world outside Burgundy.

Those in the know have long hailed the best Pinot Noir from Germany, and there was evidence of why following a Decanter panel tasting entitled ‘best Pinot Noirs in the world outside Burgundy’ and involving more than 80 wines.

Find full results of this tasting in the April issue of Decanter magazine, out now.

Top wine of the tasting went to Jean Stodden’s Spätburgunder, Alte Reben 2010 from the Ahr Valley, one of the oldest wines in a tasting dominated by 2014, 2013 and 2012 vintages.Jean Stodden, Spatburgunder, Alte Reben 2010

Tasters described it as having a ‘smoky undergrowth nose, evolved but quite seductive’. They added that it was ‘silky in the mouth, long, with a confidently acid-structure balanced by delicate summer fruit. It shows considerable density for Pinot without being too extracted; a true delight.’

The 13.5% abv wine should be good to drink up to 2022, although 2010 was not considered one of the great vintages in Ahr Valley. Pinot Noir is the most planted variety in the region’s 560ha vineyard area.

Jean Stodden is one of the best known Ahr Valley producers and has 6.5 hectares of vines – almost exclusively Pinot Noir – producing around 45,000 bottles per year.

However, with a price tag of £113 ($160) per magnum for the Alte Reben 2010, the runners-up in the tasting might prove more accessible to several wine lovers. These were:

  • Moorooduc Estate’s McIntyre 2013 from Australia’s hotly tipped Mornington Peninsula, priced at around £35 per bottle.
  • Newton Johnson’s Family Vineyards 2013 from Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley in South Africa, priced at around £25 per bottle.

All wines were judged by a panel including Stephen Brook, a Decanter contributing editor and one of its two Burgundy 2014 en primeur wines, alongside Alex Hunt MW and Xavier Rousset MS.

Do you have a particular favourite when it comes to Pinot Noir from outside of Burgundy? Let us know in the comment section below.

See all wines by subscribing to Decanter magazine’s April issue.

Updated 16/03/2016: The price of £113 for the Stodden Alte Reben 2016 is for a magnum, not a 75cl bottle.

  • Anwer Shah

    Recently tasted a Pinot Noir from Walker Bay in SA – Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peaks 2013 – very good wine. Will try Fryer’s Cove based on comments here.

  • Caroline Knight ⚓

    Being an impoverished person earning only south african rands, I’m only exposed to SA Pinot Noirs… the finest I’ve tasted of late is Fryer’s Cove Pinot Noir, from the unlikely wine region of Vredendal, up the west coast.

  • Jim Lumbers, Lerida Estate

    Canberra district, Australia has in addition to its world class Shiraz Viognier, some excellent Pinot Noirs, particularly from Lerida Estate at Lake George.

  • Konrad Ejbich

    If you did not include the Pinot Noirs of Canada, your results are invalid and misleading.
    Wines like those of Norm Hardie, Meyer Family, Thomas Bachelder and numerous others in Ontario and British Columbia are closer in style and nuance to the great burgundies than any other country or region has thus far been able to proffer.
    Leave out Canada and you miss the mark.