Spätburgunder is to red wine what Riesling is to white wine in Germany – the country’s very best.

‘Spät’ means late and ‘burgunder’ means ripening pinot. As the name implies, Spätburgunder ripens late and was brought to Germany from Burgundy in France, where it has been cultivated since at least the 4th century. In France, where this wine is more well-known, is called Pinot Noir – the grape that produces elegant, velvety red wine. Germany, however, is the world’s third largest producer of Pinot Noir.

Spätburgunder wines age well, taking on more depth and complexity, and sometimes light vanilla tones. The WineBarn, who was the first wine merchant to bring Spätburgunder to the UK market over 25 years ago, recommend their top aged Spätburgunders.

Spätburgunder - Germany's Pinot Noir

Jürgen Ellwanger
2014 Hebsacker Lichtenberg Spätburgunder Grand Cru dry
£41.35 per bottle

The Hebsacker Lichtenberg Spätburgunder originates from a vineyard with VDP.ERSTE LAGE classification. The vineyard has optimal growing conditions and produces a wine that has a distinguished character. After the grapes were selected by hand and gently pressed, maturation of the wine took place in barriques (oak barrels) for 18 months. This Spätburgunder Grand Cru has intense aromas of ripe black cherry and Cuban cigar, as well as hints of tobacco, vanilla and mocha. A smoky, dry red wine, it is accompanied by floral aromas that extend to the aftertaste. A top Grand Cru with a strong structure. Tasted by Tamlyn Currin, wine writer for Jancis Robinson, described this Spätburgunder as, “Fragrant and delicate. Fruit is bright and fresh and the wine is still extraordinarily youthful. Quite fine in terms of fruit and restrained tannins. Altogether restrained. Not exuberant. It’s slender. The joy and fullness of this wine is all on the finish.”

Spätburgunder - Germany's Pinot Noir

2018 Assmannshäuser Höllenberg Spätburgunder Grand Cru dry
£62.15 per bottle

The Assmansshäuser Höllenberg vineyard is legendary for producing firstclass Spätburgunder. Located at a point where the River Rhine curves, the south-facing vineyard captures the heat of the sun, retaining it in its slate rich soil throughout the night. This provides optimum growing conditions for the Pinot Noir grape which thrives in warm climates. A typical Spätburgunder with cool elegance, its perfectly balanced tannins are complimented by this powerful wine’s fruitiness.

Spätburgunder - Germany's Pinot Noir

2016 St. Paul Spätburgunder Grand Cru dry
£99.50 per bottle

The grapes for this Spätburgunder were grown in vineyards where the limestone rich soil has a clayey, loamy top soil. Selected by hand, the grapes were de-stemmed and fermented on the skin for two to three weeks in open oak vats. The grapes were then gently pressed and maturation of the wine took place in small oak barrels over 18 months. The wine was then bottled without filtration or fining. A deep ruby red, this Spätburgunder has aromas of wild berry, including juniper berry, as well as hints of pepper and tobacco. On the palate, it is dense and juicy with a good structure, length, elegance and well-balanced tannins.

Iris Ellmann, Managing Director of The WineBarn. Photo: Iris Ellmann

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

Visit: www.thewinebarn.co.uk
Call: 0044 (0)1962 761 215
Email: wine@thewinebarn.co.uk

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