No other varietal evokes autumn with its bright skies, colorful foliage, brisk days, and crunchy earthiness like Pinot Noir. Quite simply, it is simply fall in a glass.
No doubt, my impression can be traced back to having traveled to some of my favorite Pinot regions, including Willamette Valley, North Fork Long Island, and Sonoma Coast during the fall. To mark the start of autumn, I recently opened two Pinots from another region that is rapidly becoming known for these red wines: Germany.
The first was the 2009 Friedrich Becker Estate Pinot Noir from the Pfalz. The darker of the two wines with a fairly deep purple/garnet core, the Becker Estate Pinot had a bright nose and great palate loaded with cherry, dried herbs, strawberry, black tea, and forest floor. Tannins, acidity, and alcohol were well-balanced. After I jotted down my tasting notes, I looked back at my review of the 2007 vintage of this wine. My notes about the 2007 were very similar to the 2009, showing the winemaker’s skill in producing a consistently well-made wine.
My second wine was a 2009 Pinot from Weingut Schäfer. Schäfer is located in Rheinhessen, about 30 or so miles north of Becker Estate. I found it to be an example of a Pinot with stronger umami characteristics. In the glass, the Schäfer was lighter with more of a brick color. Raspberry, spice, and mushroom aromas dominate, while the palate had fresh red fruits, mushroom, forest floor, coffee, and licorice. Medium acidity, low tannins, and light body. I thought the Schäfer was lovely, balanced, and very enjoyable.
I give these wines a very good/excellent rating. Both are well worth trying! The wines were purchased at Julio’s in Westborough for $19.99 each.