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Outstanding 94-Point, Pinot Noir Value For Only $19.99 - 04/06/2017 - Germany

While Germany winemaking is most closely associated with Riesling there’s has also been a long, if somewhat under the radar, tradition of producing Pinot Noir. In recent years many German producers have redoubled their efforts with this noble varietal and with tremendous success. At a recent staff tasting we enjoyed an array of German Pinots and were thoroughly impressed. One of the standouts from the tasting was the 94-Point 2012 Salwey "Estate" Pinot Noir. A remarkable terroir-driven style of Pinot it is sure-fire winner on every level. Plump, fleshy and supremely accessible from start to finish, it is sure to attract many an adoring fan. Best of all, it comes in at $19.99, which is a terrific price for a wine this complex, evolved, and so utterly engaging. Everyone at the tasting came away with the same impression, this is the kind of Pinot Noir that was made for mass appeal.

Winemaker Konrad Salwey by embracing experimentation has raised German Pinot to an entirely new level. Even from the nose alone, this 94-pointer could easily be mistaken for a Pommard from a top producer. Fleshy, while at the same time clean and focused, it radiates with delightful notes of raspberry, cherry, baking spice, and wet stone. Having been sourced from vines planted on volcanic soils it possesses a very enticing smoky quality. Bright, crisp, and elegant it’s a refreshing style of Pinot that is a joy to sip on its own, but also has enough structure to pair nicely with an array of dishes. If you were looking for branch out your Pinot Noir experience, we can’t think of a better place to start.

Staff Image

2012 Salwey "Estate" Pinot Noir Baden ($19.99)

94 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* Exotic spice and cedar notes mingle amidst plump red cherries and raspberries on the nose of this perfumed Pinot Noir. Firm tannins form a taut foundation to crisp, tart raspberry and currant flavors and savory nuances of dried herb and crushed granite. It's a remarkably elegant, squarely structured wine that should meld beautifully over the next decade. (AI)"

Jancis Robinson: "The Salwey estate has always been an absolute specialist in Pinot, be it Blanc, Gris or Noir. The style has changed somewhat in recent years, replacing an emphasis on power and opulence with greater elegance and structure."

K&L Notes: Winery Notes: "The Salwey estate from the Kaiserstuhl area of Baden is truly a family operation, but also quite different. Though the Salwey family’s viticultural roots date back to the 18th century, the winery found international fame in the 1980’s and 1990’s under Wolf-Dietrich Salwey, considered one of Germany’s most outstanding Pinot specialists, and a kind of unofficial ambassador for the unique Pinot wines of the Baden. Now beginning its third generation led by Konrad Salwey, the estate is committed to the classic Kaiserstuhl varietals; Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. Konrad is known for experimentation, to take chances with new techniques and procedures in the interest of advancing the style of vinification. The wines are always fermented completely dry and always characterized and defined by the Loess and vulcanic soil of the area. They require the absolute highest standards in tending to the vineyards. 100% of the selection is performed by hand and fermentation is done exclusively with natural yeast mostly in big oak ovals. They avoid fining of the wines and almost always bottle without filtration."

Staff ImageLilia McIntosh | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: April 05, 2017

This is true and pure expression of classic Pinot Noir from Baden! Incredibly aromatic it opens up with savory notes of cedar, cloves, forest floor, red cherries and a touch of baking spices. On the palate it's fresh yet savory, full of cherry and spice notes with great length and bright lift at the end. What a treat for such low price!

Staff ImageKeith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 29, 2017

Pinot Noir is one of the world's most prestigious grapes but few are familiar with the versions produced in Germany. Well now, is definitely the time to get on board, as the Salwey delivers the smoky spices that I associate with the Baden region while also delivering ripe red fruit and savory spicy notes. I love cooler climate Pinots for their wilder brushy notes, and the Salwey is reminiscent of the wines of Marsannay and in riper vintages like this, maybe a meaty Pommard. This is exceptional terroir-driven Pinot that is not to be missed.

Staff ImageDiana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 29, 2017

Nimble, aromatic, rustic yet nuanced this incredibly tasty Pinot Noir from southern Germany seriously overdelivers for the price. Dark with plum fruit initially, the Salwey Estate also has subtle smoke and more obvious spice, with a lingering finish. While it drank beautifully upon first opening, this 2012 only got better with time as the considerable acidity softened and more concentrated berry fruit came forward. Lighter-bodied and focused, this shows off Badens volcanic soil but doesnt come across as sharp, just deliciously bright. I took home two bottles within days of each other, it was so good.

Staff ImageHeather Vander Wall | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: March 21, 2017

This is a great value in Pinot Noir! Don't balk at it's origin! Germany has been producing fantastic Pinot Noirs that tend to slip under the radar for a long time. This lovely wine is lighter in body, with soft, very fine tannin and elegant black cherry notes. Having aged already for a few years, the Pinot is very soft and open, ready to drink without having to decant for hours. This is easily one of the best buys for Pinot in this price range from anywhere in the store.