This year's winner of the Decanter World Wine Awards International Trophy for the Best in Show Pinot Noir Over £15 went to Dagernova Weinmanufaktur, Heimersheimer Kapellenberg Spätburgunder, Ahr 2011, Germany.
Dagernova Weinmanufaktur, Heimersheimer Kapellenberg Spätburgunder, Ahr, Germany 2011 (14%)
Gentle, perfumed, red fruit nose, a touch spicy. Rich, silky mulberry and cherry palate with a farmyard element. Lots of spice.
Not available in the UK
Tasted against • Bay of Fires, Pinot Noir, Tasmania, Australia 2011 • Heinrich Hartl III, Pinot Noir Reserve, Thermenregion, Niederösterreich, Austria 2010 • Villa Maria, Reserve Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand 2010 • Paul Hobbs, Crossbarn Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, California, USA 2010
In a varied line-up for this Trophy, it was Germany that came out on top, repeating the country’s success in 2011. This year, Dagerova faced competition from some high-profile names, including some who already have DWWA International Trophies in their cabinets.
We are getting used to pleasant surprises when it comes to German Pinot Noir. In the Ahr, Germany’s northernmost wine region, the Pinot Noir is all perfume and delicacy. This year is a first, in that we have singled out a wine from the Ahr Valley cooperative for the DWWA’s top honour.
The modern coop has its origins in Dernau, and Dagernova commemorates the ancient name of the village. The original association was formed in 1873. In 1970 it merged with a number of neighbouring villages, and there are now 600 members with about 142ha of land in the valley. Dagernova’s winemaker, Günter Schüller, has the chance to vinify some of the best sites – in this case the Kapellenberg in Heimersheim.
This lovely 2011 Spätburgunder benefits from the exceptional ripeness of its vintage as well as the glories of its terroir. And with prices hurtling up, the Dagernova Weinmanufaktur offers a considerable advantage over the smaller producers in the valley in that the wines are still relatively cheap; although sadly not widey available.
Written by Decanter