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