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Red Germany over £10

Find out who won the regional trophy for over £10. And the winner is...

Fritz Wassmer, Spätburgunder XXL, Baden 2009

Well done Fritz Wassmer! He has pulled the rabbit out of the hat two years on the trot. Last year it was his 2007 XXL flagship Spätburgunder that won our trophy, this year the 2009.

It has been quite a success for the self-trained late starter, who only began making wine from his 26 ha plot in Baden in 1998. Wassmer got the bug when he went to the Domaine de la Romanée Conti to help with the harvest one year.

He returned to Baden with a pressing desire to make proper, Burgundian style Pinot – that he succeeded beyond his wildest dreams is something no one would now dispute.

Before turning to wine, Wassmer was like any number of farmers in the village of Schlatt in the Black Forest. He produced all those speciality foods such as strawberries and asparagus that grow to perfection in those rich soils.

When the snow lies crisp on the hills he cut pine trees for the Christmas market. Wassmer does not stop at Pinot Noir (even if one gets the impression it is his favourite wine).

On his mixed limestone, loess, loam and conglomerate soils he has planted the other Pinots – grey and white – Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc and Merlot as well as the Rhone varieties Syrah and Viognier.

The Black Forest is just the other side of the Rhine from Alsace and Wassmer’s wines benefit from the weather breaking effect of the Vosges Mountains that make this Germany’s warmest and driest region.

Unavailable in the UK or US: €40 ex cellars. Weingut Fritz Wassmer: Fwassmer@gmx.de +49 7633 3965.

Written by Giles MacDonogh

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