The German tribe of the Franconians do appear to have been geographically misplaced by providence. Not only are they the Protestant outsiders in deeply Catholic Bavaria, they are also a winemaking tribe in a state known mostly for its beer. Perhaps this is why they aim to make up for it by being more distinctive, for instance with their oddly shaped Bocksbeutel wine bottles. Most winemakers use these as a proud statement of origin - not so the Luckert brothers.
Even some of their Franconian signature Silvaner wines ship in standard bottles, and the bottle of the top of the range Pinot Noir looks a little more Burgundian than Franconian - a stylistic message in a bottle shape?
The wine is not labelled as such but comes from the Sulzfelder Maustal, a vineyard with soil rich in shell limestone. The Luckert red wines are fermented on the skin - using natural yeasts - and then spend some time in oak barrels. This Spätburgunder shows substantial dark red colour with a touch of brown. The aromas are also substantial, with the first wave being led by coffee, chocolate and mocha, so well defined and delicious that I have smelled desserts that paled against this. This is all nicely balanced by fruit - marinated cherry and dark berries - with bread undertones to bring it all together. The bouquet is deep but luckily avoids being boozy. To both the eye and the nose a wine of substance, and balance.
On the tongue the Pinot is substantial too, but not heavy. It is well structured, smooth but not without focus and has just the right amount of acidity. There are also noticeable tannins, but they are already well enough integrated - you may notice them a little more in a long, dry and a little tingly end to a finish that starts more on the dark berry and beef broth side. Very pleasant to drink, the Pinot is most notable on the tongue for its very long finish. It seems to me I could (should) easily have waited another two years before opening this, if not longer.
Stylistically, the Pinot may indeed appear closer to Burgundy than to the stereotypical idea of German Pinot. How useful such a comparison is I don't know, but I do know that while this is not a bargain it is an accomplished Pinot.