Germany’s most popular red wines are the Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) and the Lemberger. Both are a real pleasure to enjoy on a cold winter’s evening in front of an open fire.

In Germany, the Spätburgunder is to red wine what the Riesling is to white wine: the cream of the crop. In fact, Germany is the world’s third-largest producer of Pinot Noir. The German name for the grape is Spätburgunder – late (spät) ripening pinot (burgunder).

Sensitive to climate and soil, it needs warmth (but not intense heat) to thrive and does well in chalky soils. As the name implies, it ripens late (spät) and it was brought to Germany from Burgundy, where it has probably been cultivated since at least the fourth century.

Called Pinot Noir in France, this grape produces elegant, velvety wines with a distinctive bouquet reminiscent of bitter almonds or blackberries.

A Württemberg speciality, the Lemberger, also known as ‘Blauer Limberger’ and ‘Blaufränkisch’ grows in a warm climate and wind-protected areas, since bud-burst is early and it ripens late. It does well in various soil types, especially fertile, deep, loess-loam soils. Lemberger is almost exclusively cultivated in Württemberg, where it accounts for about 16 per cent of the total vineyard area compared with 1.9 per cent in Germany overall.

2018 Burkheimer Spätburgunder Village Pinot Noir dry


£17.99 per bottle

Tamlyn Currin, Jancis Robinson’s talented and expressive wine writer, describes this wine as: “All Strawberries. A great gush of ripe, sweet, open, friendly strawberries that comes brushed with the scent of early-morning woodland. Really juicy. A wine that just makes you smile. He says a bit of struck flint and I agree. Mouth-watering. Gossamer tannins. Absolutely delicious.”

2018 Spätburgunder Blauschiefer QbA dry


£33.99 per bottle

The Blauschiefer is an exceptional example of when Spätburgunder grapes are grown in slate-rich soil. The combination creates a mineral wine with smoky aromas of red fruits like blackberry, blueberry, red currant and dark cherry, accompanied by floral and roasted notes. This Pinot Noir has good substance, elegance and smooth tannins.

2019 Fellbacher Lämmer Lemberger Grand Cru dry

£52.55 per bottle

Red Winter Warmers

Tamlyn Currin, describes this wine as, “Marl and sandstone. A warmer vineyard. Made in barriques, 20 per cent new oak, wide selection of casks. 30 per cent whole bunches. Aged in oak for 16 months. Really interesting nose. Hint of menthol and black, black fruit. Liquorice root. Very rugged and muscular and compact. Brambly briars, cassis, very inky. But through the deep-shadowed, dark-textured blackness lies this quiet pool of wonderful, cool acidity. Deep, long finish.”

These wines are available from The WineBarn, the multi-award winning German wine merchant who has just won the Decanter Retailer Award 2022 for ‘Best Specialist Germany Wine Retailer’, and are also the winner of the prestigious IWC Award for ‘Specialist Merchant of the Year for Germany’ for the sixth consecutive year.

Warmer weather means more powerful, full-bodied & riper German wines Iris Ellmann presents The WineBarn’s IWC Specialist Merchant of the Year 2022 award. Photo: Iris Ellmann

To find your new favourite German wine, you can contact the award-winning merchant The WineBarn now.

Call: 0044 (0)1962 761 215

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