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Lukas Krauß, Spätburgunder, 2009

Lukas Krauß, friend of and contributor to the Wine Rambler, insists that his Spätburgunder is a Spätburgunder, and not a Pinot Noir, by which he means to say that if you miss in it the barnyard smells, wet earth, leanness and minerality associated with Burgundy, and find yourself with plump strawberry and cherry fruit and chocolaty richness instead, that's just how it's meant to be.

Spoken like a true traditionalist of german red wine. But do we let him get away with it?

Certainly, Lukas presents a very smooth and polished, fruit-forward and fragrant style of Pinot Noir: Almonds or marzipan, nougat and cherry jam in the nose. Warm chocolaty notes on the palate, I get a hint of rose petals as well, all smoothed out with lingering almondy oak.

This portly little wine wears its very ripe fruit (and maybe a bit of residual sugar?) with a sexy grin, much like a person who is technically overweight, but confident and easy in their skin. It definitely has that kind of charm, although I, for one, am a great fan of the more earthy Pinots. A little more coolness would certainly do no harm. But then, this wine is still very young, it may go in different directions and also shed some of its baby fat. It also needs to be said that the price tag Lukas put on it is exceedingly fair.

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