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Weingut Ziereisen, Blauer Spätburgunder, 2008

If you ever come across ruddy-cheeked, twinkly-eyed, chatty Hanspeter Ziereisen, do me a big favour: Don't underestimate him. And do yourself another: Try his wines. There has hardly been another Pinot Noir winemaker in Germany who has a more consistent, sharp-edged stylistic vision for the grape, or taken a more principled, self-critical and determined path to realising it. Excepting maybe Bernhard Huber in Malterdingen, we know of no greater francophile in german Pinot than Hanspeter Ziereisen. High time he made his debut on the Wine Rambler.

We'll start with his simplest Pinot. But even this is a statement: Grown on limestone, macerated for five weeks (way longer than most german Pinots), eleven months in big oak vats (no barrique), unfiltered, unfined. Any questions? Oh, how is it?

Cherry red, a little cloudy. A little chlorine in the nose at first, but that goes away with some airing out, after that mostly earthy sour cherries.
Fresh acidity on the palate, enormously fresh, sour cherries again, and a very firm tannic backbone. A muscled, yet supple red, not an ounce of fat or flabbiness on him, and way too young to be drunk. Check back here in two to three years for news.

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