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2015 J.L. Villa Wolf German Pinot Noir

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Cracka Review

Pinot Noir from Germany? WTF?! Well, don’t be too surprised - they are starting to turn out some pretty decent Pinots, so sit up and take notice. This is a moderately oaked, cherry style of wine that is medium-bodied and juicy fruity on the palate, with smooth tannins, and a spicy, smoky finish. Ideal with duck pancakes.

Winemaker's Notes

The Villa Wolf varietal line-up includes exceptionally affordable, classic Pfalz wines made from traditional varieties. These value-priced wines combine Villa Wolf estate-grown fruit with grapes from contracted growers.

The Pfalz Region: The Pfalz (aka ‘Palatinate’) region is in the Rhine River valley in southwest Germany, directly north of France’s Alsace region. The low-lying Haardt mountains protect the area from cold, wet Atlantic weather, making it one of the warmer and drier areas of Germany. Wine grapes do quite well here where it is possible to achieve full ripeness in every vintage. The predominant soil type in this area is well-drained, weathered sandstone. It produces wines with a fruit-driven purity and a stony structure.

About The Winemakers: Patrick Mollendorf and Sumi Gebauer met while working in the cellar at Dr. Loosen. Together they now manage the entire winemaking process at Villa Wolf, from vine to cellar. They share Ernst Loosen’s philosophy that great wines are created on the vine, so they employ sustainable practices to foster a balanced environment in the vineyards.

The 2015 Vintage: After a dry winter and a very hot summer, the vines had been a bit stressed, but in a positive way, producing grapes that were small and very aromatic. We harvested perfectly ripe grapes in a record-breaking pace, finishing at the end of September.

Vinification: Picked at optimal ripeness for a clean, pure style. 100% de-stemmed. Fermented in stainless steel. Half of the cuvée is matured for 12-15 months in used oak barrels to add depth and complexity; half in stainless steel to preserve freshness.

Villa Wolf Pinot Noir: Pinot Noir has a long tradition in the Pfalz region, where it is known as Spätburgunder. Villa Wolf Pinot Noir is warm and medium-bodied, with a firm acid structure. Its bright black-cherry fruit is juicy, ripe, and forward, with a spicy mid-palate. Twelve months of ageing in used barriques gives the wine a smoky depth and a nice touch of earthy tannins. It’s an excellent, approachable red wine for everyday dining.

Alc/vol: 12.5%

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