What is Spätburgunder? Pinot Noir With a Passport, Part 3

The Wine of the Week: Messmer Pinot Noir

by Annette Tomei

2014 Meßmer, Pinot Noir (Spätburgunder), Pfalz, GermanyWhat is Spätburgunder? You need to try this German Pinot Noir!

What is Spätburgunder? And how did it get into our Pinot Noir flight? Oh, yes, we must be in Germany! Things can be a bit different here. In the case of Pinot Noir, it is simply in the name. Spätburgunder is the German name of the Pinot Noir grape.

Pinot Noir thrives in the temperate rolling hills of the Pfalz region, the second largest wine-growing region in Germany. It is located near the Rhine River, just beyond the Haardt Mountains. Riesling may rule here, but Pinot Noir plantings continue to increase in the region as the distinct style (fuller bodied, concentrated fruit) continues to gain international notoriety.

Messmer (Meßmer) is located in the southern Pfalz. Herbert Messmer purchased the historic property in 1960; his son Gregor took the lead in 1984. Organic practices have long been in place at Messmer. Then, in 2011 they made the move toward biodynamic vineyard practices.

About this Wine

Initial aromas of lanolin and red roses, followed by juicy red cherries and smoky sweet spice mean the best of both New and Old World styles. This is a medium bodied wine of moderate intensity that is aged in large format neutral barrels for 9 months and bottled in 1-liter bottles.

This wine is pleasing in every way, and very easy to settle in with for a cozy evening – with or without a full meal. I most enjoyed it as an accompaniment to great conversation with some crusty bread, country ham, sopresata, and creamy ricotta with fresh herbs. This could be easily supplemented with a simple mushroom risotto, roast chicken, or easy oven roasted salmon with cucumber-herb salsa.

The Verdict

At approximately $13/bottle this is possibly one of the best Pinot Noir deals out there. I believe it is now being labeled as Spätburgunder in some markets – either way, same delicious wine made by a respected and conscientious producer. Messmer is possibly best known for their Riesling and Scheurebe (both whites), as well as vineyard designate wines made from a variety of regionally celebrated grapes.

I hope you enjoyed the last pour of our Pinot with a Passport flight, and that you will continue to join me over the next few weeks as we continue our summertime flights of fancy!

For more about where I enjoyed this and other flights, please visit here.

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