Beyond Riesling: Spatburgunder Shines in Germany


German Pinot Noir is having a delicious moment in the spotlight, rightly so. Climates are changing and Germany is ripening fruit fully, bringing with it a rare combo of intense freshness, aromatics and–for the first time in a lot of places–texture. With reference-point Enderle & Moll’s newests arrivals, we’re tumbling down the Spatburgunder rabbit hole in a real way: highlighting the people and places defining this delicious German chapter.

Enderle & Moll’s Grand Crus - Baden, Germany 

Hugged by the Black Forest, Baden is the spiritual homeland for Pinot Noir. You can chart Germany’s current work with Pinot Noir directly back to Baden’s Enderle & Moll. When they started over 15 years ago, they never tried to make gilded international wines which were in vogue.

They confidently bottled aromatic, transparent Pinot Noir that spoke more to their forested surroundings than to oak or extraction. With notes of pine, cooling herbs and fresh fruit, something in the wines always feels a little Alto-Piedmontese in a very unique, delicious way. 

Longtime fans will recognize the Cru wines, which joined the ‘Liaison.’ All quenching and aromatic in their own way but refreshingly sensitive to vintage, each shows a very different vineyard character in the 2022 vintage.  

'21 Enderle & Moll Pinot Noir “Basis", 30/btl
An entry into the cru wines, this blends sites mainly from 50 years old vines. A Leon Circle fav, showing an intensity of bright, refreshing fruit. 

'22 Enderle & Moll “Buntsandstein” Grand Cru, 58/btl 
Surprisingly this year, the sandstone cru here is the lightest, brightly fruited of the cru wines. Wildly quenching. 

'22 Enderle & Moll "Buntsandstein Ida" Grand Cru, 58/btl 
This parcel was given to them by an older lady named Ida. Same sandstone as the Buntsandstein but showing a slightly darker fruit profile and more structure in comparison. Think Buntsandstein but with a touch more muscle. 

'22 Enderle & Moll “Muschelkalk” Grand Cru, 58/btl 
Interestingly, this limestone site is the darkest, most powerful of the lineup this year. This isn’t usually the case but given its soil, there’s still a salty, mineral core in its powerful frame. Surprising and seriously delicious. 

22 Enderle & Moll “Pinot a Trois” Grand Cru, 75/btl
A selection of their finest barrels, this ‘Pinot a Trois’ is not bottled every vintage. It’s a symphony of the above crus. Fans should note the wine is more highly toned than previous bottlings, showing energetic currant fruit and freight train finish that confidently says “Grand Cru”.

Saalwachter, Rheinhessen

When you pay attention to who's moving the needle in German Pinot, there’s a strong buzz around the wines being made by young Carsten Saalwächter. He's framing the limestone hills of Ingelheim by taking the famously crunchy acidity imparted by these soils and layering it with deeply fruited, stylish wines that are eye-opening.

There is swagger here that's very impressive and rightfully making waves. Add the fact that he has parcels in legendary Hollenberg, and you have one of the true names to watch with German Pinot. 

‘21 Weingut Saalwachter Spatburgunder, 38/btl

‘21 Weingut Saalwachter Spatburgunder, “Alte Reben,” 56/btl

‘21 Weingut Saalwachter Spatburgunder Assmannhausen “La Premiere,” 62/btl

‘21 Weingut Saalwachter Spatburgunder Hollenberg, 115/btl

Koehler-Ruprecht, Pfalz

Here is proof that Pinot’s history in Germany reaches long and far beyond Baden. The legendary, old school Pfalz has made unapologetically delicious wines for decades and it includes this Pinot from sandy soils. All destemmed and, despite getting almost two years of elevage, has a crystalline, mouthwatering profile. 

‘21 Koehler-Ruprecht Kabinett Trocken Pinot, 26/btl

Also from Pfalz…

It’s difficult to not make a bigger deal here but there are only a couple bottles in stock of this lush, powerful Pinot Noir which received extra elevage from his ‘Roter Berg’ bottling. 

‘20 Lukas Hammelman Spatburgunder Late Release, 110/btl  

Julien Scheid, Mosel

Perhaps the newest name on our German shelves, young Julien Schied has taken over his family’s vines in Merle. Working regeneratively here, he's the only organic grower in the village. He farms a small amount of Pinot Noir and ferments with partial whole bunches, which beautifully reflects the Mosel’s uncanny ability to capture freshness and persistence in its wines. A grower we’re excited to watch. 

‘21 Julien Scheid, Spatburgunder, Mosel, 39/btl