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Spätburgunder, not quite the hidden gem of Germany anymore

Text: Tersina Shieh

Riesling當然是譽滿國際的德國葡萄酒,但Spätburgunder(又名Pinot Noir)正在悄悄地迎頭趕上。 被Bachmair Wines的Karl Bachmair指是德國葡萄酒先生的Joel Payne, 最近舉辦了一場侍酒師及傳媒的品鑑會,細味了五個德國葡萄酒產區的九款優質葡萄酒。

Sure Riesling is Germany’s most well-known wine but Spätburgunder (aka Pinot Noir) is quietly catching up. Joel Payne, nicknamed Mr German Wine by Karl Bachmair from Bachmair Wines, guided a full house of sommeliers and media to taste nine such fine wines from five German wine regions recently.

Spätburgunder在德國並不是甚麼新葡萄品種,和歐洲的大多數葡萄一樣都是源自布爾岡, 在公元4世紀開始由修道士種植,儘管在14世紀首次有歷史記錄。不過由於在德國難以熟成葡萄,所以當地最受歡迎的是Rosé而不是紅葡萄酒。但在過去的十多年中,科技大大的進步、氣候變化、基因改造,改良的葡萄種植和釀酒技術經驗的累積,以上種種都將Spätburgunder推向了另一個層次。

德國的氣候與布爾岡相似,不過它的Spätburgunder風格全然不同。就是帶有布爾岡風格的Spätburgunder。我們品嚐其中之一瓶葡萄酒是Baden Weingut Bernhard Huber的2015 Malterdinger 。Bernhard Huber接管家族葡萄園後,1987年開始在莊園開始葡萄酒裝瓶,並逐漸將種植面積增加至約26公頃。他的兒子Julian其後亦繼承了莊園並繼承了Bernhard Huber的遺產。根據Joel的說法,他的葡萄酒經常被專業人士誤解,包括法國葡萄酒評論家Michel Bettane、以布爾岡的Pinot Noir的盲品方式去評價德國葡萄酒是不正確的 。Julian相信無添加的葡萄酒才是最好的,而他的目標就是製作出Grand Cru的Pinot Noir和Chardonnay。

Spätburgunder is nothing new in Germany. Like most grapes in Europe, it was brought from Burgundy and planted by monks a least in the 4th century although it was only first documented in 14th century. However, because of poor ripening, the wine was a hit and miss and the majority was rosé rather than red wine. But things have changed in the past couple of decades. Climate change, clonal selection, improved viticultural practice and experience in winemaking technique all propel Spätburgunder to today’s height.

Germany offers different styles of Spätburgunder. Its climate is similar to Burgundy and there is no shortage of Burgundian style Spätburgunder. The 2015 Malterdinger from Weingut Bernhard Huber in Baden we tasted is one of them. Bernhard Huber began estate bottling in 1987 after he took control of the family’s vineyards and slowly increased planting to around 26ha. His son Julian inherited the estate after he passed away and continued Bernhard’s legacy. According to Joel, his wine was often mistaken by professionals, including respected French wine critic Michel Bettane, as Burgundy Pinot in blind tastings. Julian believes in small is beautiful and less is more. His goal is to only make Grand Cru Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

另一邊就是更國際化的新世界的Pinot Noir,新世代的釀酒師在全新橡木桶(225公升)中陳釀葡萄酒,釀造出更豐盈馥郁的葡萄酒,更具深度和層次。 Philipp Kuhn 2015 KirschgartenGrossesGewächs就是一個很好的例子。

Spätburgunder也開始用作釀造德國的汽泡酒Sekt。來自Rheinhessen的Raumland 2010 Pinot Prestige Brut Blanc de Noir,在酒糟上渡過了長達88個月的時間,富層次的水果,奶油蛋捲和煙燻味,由清脆的酸度撐起了酒體,它更在2018年的Gault Millau中被評選為德國最佳的Sekt。

Baden和Pfalz是德國最南端的兩個葡萄酒產區,擁有最多的Pinot Noir葡萄種植園,在符騰堡州、萊茵河畔以及Ahr和Nahe較溫暖的地區也有種植Pinot Noir 。德國Pinot Noir的種植面積為11,784公頃,僅次於法國和美國,佔地世界第三賡,更已經超越新西蘭和澳大利亞的總和。

因此,下次當你想來一杯紅葡萄酒來陪襯上清爽的德國Riesling的時侯,不用再猶豫了,你可以在Bachmair Wines找到嶄露鋒芒的Spätburgunder了 。

On the other end is the more international New World style Pinot Noir. Contemporary winemakers age the wine in new oak barriques (225 litres) resulting in fuller-bodied wine with more depth and structure. Philipp Kuhn 2015 Kirschgarten Grosses  Gewächs is one such fine example.

Spätburgunder also makes its way into sekt, German’s sparkling wine. The Raumland 2010 Pinot Prestige Brut Blanc de Noir from Rheinhessen, spent a whopping 88 months on lees, is multi-dimensional with layers of fruits, hints of brioche and smokiness supported by crisp acidity. It was voted the Best German Sekt in Gault Millau Guide 2018.

Baden and Pfalz, the two Southernmost wine regions in Germany, have the most plantings of Pinot Noir but the variety is also grown in Württemberg and Rheinhessen, as well as the warm pockets in Ahr and Nahe. Its planting area, at 11, 784 ha, ranked the third in the world after France and the USA; and is more than New Zealand and Australia combined.

So next time when you need a red wine to compliment your German Riesling, look no further. Spätburgunder is not a hidden gem anymore. You can find them at Bachmair Wines.