Earlier this month, Bernhard Huber died. As the last few weeks have been very busy with work I am only now catching up with news from the wine world - and with news like this I almost wish I hadn't. While I have never met him in person I have appreciated his outstanding wines on more than one occasion, and I am only too aware of what he has done for the reputation of German wine, Pinot Noir in particular. Looking through my cellar, the only Huber wine left is a Müller-Thurgau, not quite the obvious choice, but it has to do for a toast to one of the greats of wine making.
Müller-Thurgau is the wine workhorse of Germany, usually produced in bulk to make cheap wine for blending. The general perception is that it is a somewhat dull variety, not capable of producing great wines. Because of this, only few of the leading estates in Germany produce MT varietals, and the Huber estate is one of them. I bought the 2011 as part of our ongoing quest to find Müller-Thurgau that we are happy to recommend. Julian kicked this off a while ago with his excellent investigation into Müller-Thurgau. So this review was planned to showcase what a good winemaker can do with Müller-Thurgau in the entry level range. It now has become something else, a rather atypical toast to a man who won international acclaim with his Pinots, in particular the Pinot Noir/Spätburgunder. If you want to understand where Huber's reputation comes from, maybe read my review of his outstanding 2009 Chardonnay R or Julian's 2010 piece on the 1992 Malterdinger Pinot Noir. And while you do that I shall raise a glass with Germany's lowest ranked white wines to the talents of one of the country's most highly regarded red wine makers. And the Müller-Thurgau, you may ask? Well, it is a perfectly enjoyable wine, fresh, clean, with aromas of nutmeg, white pepper, lemon, apple, grass and hay, flowery, refreshing - almost a little bubbly -, with juicy moments and a light clean finish. A neat wine for a summer's day, but the wrong wine to say goodbye to a great winemaker. But then, what wine would ever be right for such a task?