There were astonished gasps at last night's Decanter World Wine Awards as a German producer took the top International Trophy for Pinot Noir.
The Dernauer Pfarrwingert Spätburgunder Grosses Gewächs 2005 from Weingut Meyer-Näkel in Ahr first won a Regional Trophy – the best Pinot Noir in Germany.
It was then judged against three other Regional Trophies, each judged the best in their region: Wild Earth Pinot from Central Otago, New Zealand, Cono Sur Ocio from Casablanca, Chile and the Maison Camille Giroud Chambertin Grand Cru 2006, from Burgundy.
The £40 wine, which judges described as ‘seductive’ and found so accomplished they thought they were in Burgundy, beat all comers to be judged the best Pinot in the competition.
‘Weingut Meyer-Näkel is one of the finest purveyors of Pinot Noir in Germany,’ Decanter magazine writes, adding that the clue to the success of the Ahr’s narrow, south-facing valley lies in a microclimate warmed by mists from the River Ahr.
Receiving the trophy, regional judge Giles MacDonogh said, ‘This is in anybody’s terms a remarkable achievement. Ten years ago, even in Germany they would not have believed to win an award like this would be possible.’
Decanter tastings director Christelle Guibert said, ‘It’s a fantastic achievement for Germany to win a Pinot Noir trophy. Imagine it – they have beaten Burgundy, New Zealand, Oregon – all the great acknowledged Pinot regions of the world.’
Written by Adam Lechmere