2008 Weingut Keller Spätburgunder "FR" (Pinot Noir) Goldkapsel Trocken Auction

SKU #1344012 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Representing the contents of just three barriques (one of which was new) and headed for auction, Keller’s 2008 Spatburgunder trocken FR – from the Frauenberg – offers an accentuation of the bright juiciness that renders all three of his 2008 vintage Pinots memorable, and in addition a saline, saliva-inducing savor joins pit fruit, peat, and chalk accents to its succulent cherry and elderberry matrix. This marriage of richness and textural tenderness with refreshment and minerality should be worth following for at least a decade. Around one-third of the fruit here was vinified with stems, and the additional complexity as well as the deft integration of supplemental tannin vis-a-vis Keller’s other two 2009 vintage Pinots – without sacrificing Riesling-like clarity – leaves little doubt that this approach has succeeded. Incidentally, Keller is contemplating grafting-over to the Pinot selection massale that informs this Frauenberg bottling some old, deeply-rooted Riesling vines he has been eyeing in Morstein. (DS)  (2/2011)

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Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.


- Thanks to a recent string of excellent vintages and to the reemergence of Germany onto the international wine writing scene, this is a country that's hot, hot, hot! Germany is divided into 13 wine Region and produces a very wide variety of wine styles, from incredibly high-acid, dry wines to some of the sweetest, most unctuous concoctions on the planet and even a few surprisingly hearty reds. Most of the highest-quality wines are grown on steep banks along the rivers in these Region. Small vineyards are still mostly hand tended and picked, due to the difficult nature of mechanization on these slopes. White wine production accounts for nearly 80% of the total with Riesling being the most important varietal, though Muller-Thurgau is still more widely planted.