TheWineRambler "A German wine label is one of the things life's too short for" - Kingsley Amis



Knipser, Blauer Spätburgunder, 2007

Posted by Torsten 06 Apr 2011

A little while ago I discussed the question of how much a value Pinot Noir should cost with a Canadian and an American on Twitter. With different currencies and tax/duty regimes it was not the easiest discussion, but I made the point that at least in Germany you should get decent Pinot for around, or a little above, ten Euro. Today we are looking at a German Pinot, from one of the country's best "red" wineries, for less than that.

Blauer Spätburgunder = Pinot NoirBlauer Spätburgunder = Pinot Noir

Can Knipser's basic Pinot Noir be my new reference point for value?

With its dark cherry colour the Pinot certainly looks the part. It also smells the part, with a nose that is both smooth and enticing. Good fruit (mostly Mon Chéri cherry) and a nuanced earthiness come together with herbal aromas, cocoa, liquorice and a subtle hint of substantial meat-broth. So far very convincing.

Luckily, the story does not end here. The wine is also a joy to drink. Polished and well rounded, it has both substance and good acidity, all in a smooth balance, ending in a tingly spicy finish with very subtle wood aromas - the wine was aged in used oak barrels. The tannins are well integrated too. A Pinot with substance and some complexity, it is interesting enough to keep the snob engaged and at the same time well rounded enough to be a joyful drinking companion.

And for less than ten Euro a bottle it is also very good value. Recommended.

International varieties

Completely agree on this wine! My absolute favorite "entry-level" Spatburgunder is by Rebholz, but it is already over the 10 Euro mark.

On a side note, I much prefer Knipser's Spatburgunder to his overly green (and overly hyped IMO) international cuvées: Gaudenz & X. Is it just me?


Rebholz and Xs

So far I have only tried the Rebholz whites (although a 2004 Pinot is awaiting its time in my wine rack); will make a note about the entry level Pinot.

My opinion about X has changed a little over the past few years. When I tasted it first at a wine tasting in Munich I was very impressed, but now I agree that the Knipser Pinot is much more exciting and also better value. This impression was confirmed at last year's VDP tasting in Munich. I like the Gaudenz wines, but to quote a previous review: "It was not quite the excitement I had hoped for though."

So boring as it may sound, it seems we fully agree on this one.


Blau

Curios about the difference between Blauer Spaetburgunder and Spaetburgunder? I've just always referred to and heard Spaetburgunder.

Thanks!


Blau

There is no difference. Both names are used in Germany; Blauer Spätburgunder ("blau" meaning "blue") is used less often colloquially but may be seen as the more correct way of referring to Pinot Noir.


cost

Btw, the '08 costs about $30 here in the states. It's a shame that it costs so much more over here. That price jump turns people off from trying something new.


Pssst

As long as we keep it a secret they won't know it is much more expensive in the US. But I fear most German wines will be pricier, with shipping, feeding the importer and perhaps extra taxes? Maybe you should start an import business and demonstrate it can be done cheaper!