First Ever 97 point Pinot
For the first time ever, we awarded 97 points for a German Pinot: Congratulations to Sophie and Steffen Christmann, who succeeded with the 2020 Idig! No other Pinot combines so elegantly lively freshness, fruit and at the same time structure and a pronounced spiciness. Close behind is the Hundsrück from Sebastian and Paul Fürst, which has been shining for years with its own distinctive style.
Behind these two exceptional wines is a group of eight Spätburgunders, which we also awarded a world-class level of 95 points.
The Baden superstars Julian Huber and Friedrich Keller, exactly in step, each score 95 twice and 94 three times. Yet they contrast in style: while Huber's focus is clearly fruit-forward, Keller's collection is characterized by an intense, ethereal spiciness, his signature style.
95 points for the Henkenberg from Salwey and 94 points for the Schlossberg from Dr. Heger complete the top field. In total, a dozen Pinots from Baden with 94 or 95 points. Last year, there were eleven Pinot Noirs from Baden with 94 to 96 points.
More Fruit, Less Minerality for the Pfalz
A little more fruit in 2020 and a little less complex, grippy structure and minerality, that's how the difference to 2019 can best be described in the Palatinate - with the exception of Idig.
The balance of the 2020 vintage reads like this: Idig as a fixed star above all, then two world-class Pinots from Rings (Felsenberg and Saumagen) and a convincing Kostert from VDP freshman Jülg (94 P.). Plus 94 points twice for two older vintages: 2019 Kirschgarten from Philipp Kuhn, which underlines his reputation as a multi-talent and is the only one in the Pfalz with three grape varieties to achieve ratings of 94 or 95 points. Rebholz is only releasing his Im Sonnenschein after five years. Fans have also found the 2017 worth the wait.
Overview of the Rest of Germany
The Rudolf Fürst winery (once 96, twice 94 points) joined Fritz Keller, Huber and Rings in Wiesbaden to present the best Pinot collection. Two Pinot Noirs from Rheinhessen stood out, Felix and Klaus Peter Keller's Frauenberg (95 points) and Battenfeld Spanier's Kirchenstück (94 points).
Also scoring 94 points, Weingut Kaufmann underpinned its claim to leadership in modern Pinot Noir stylistics in the Rheingau. Otherwise, the area seems to be largely disconnected from current trends.
Things look quite different here. Hansjörg and Matthias Aldinger lead the way with 94 points twice, followed by Rainer Schnaitmann's Lämmler and Graf Neipperg's Schlossberg from 2020, as well as Schupen from Dautel and Ruthe from Graf Neipperg.
A slight goose bump inevitably sets in when you have the 2020 vintage in front of you in the glass. One almost has the feeling that it is forbidden to give a profane evaluation in points. The level of the Pinots cannot be overestimated in view of the dramatic circumstances under which this vintage was produced. Every single winemaker deserves to be listed on the country's wine lists and no guest will be disappointed.
The 2016 and 2017 vintages promised a lot. It seemed as if the knot had been broken. Elegant, peppery-spicy Lembergers with noble dark fruit and ripe tannins, neither overripe and rummy, nor green and aggressive, nor overloaded with wood. The following 2018s were priced in, due to the warm character of the vintage. Then in 2019 the first disillusionment and finally in 2020 the bitter realization: German Lemberger are relatively far from world class. Unfortunately! Just three wines reached 93 points: Gehrnhalde from Moritz Haidle and the two Lämmler from Rainer Schnaitmann and the Aldinger brothers. In addition, three more wines with 92 points. This makes a total of six wines at a level at which between 60 and 100 Blaufränkisch wines are produced in Burgenland, depending on the vintage, and including not only single-site wines.
- 2020 IDIG Spätburgunder GG A. Christmann
- 2020 HUNDSRÜCK Spätburgunder GG Rudolf Fürst
- 2020 HENKENBERG Spätburgunder GG Salwey
- 2020 EICHBERG Spätburgunder GG Franz Keller
- 2020 KIRCHBERG Spätburgunder GG Franz Keller
- 2020 BIENENBERG Spätburgunder GG Bernhard Huber
- 2020 BIENENBERG "WILDENSTEIN" Spätburgunder GG Bernhard Huber
- 2020 FELSENBERG Spätburgunder GG Rings
- 2020 SAUMAGEN Spätburgunder GG Rings
- 2020 FRAUENBERG Spätburgunder GG Keller
- 2020 SCHLOSSBERG Spätburgunder GG Rudolf Fürst
- 2020 CENTGRAFENBERG Spätburgunder GG Rudolf Fürst
- 2020 SCHLOSSBERG Spätburgunder GG Dr. Heger
- 2020 SCHLOSSBERG Spätburgunder GG Franz Keller
- 2020 ENSELBERG Spätburgunder GG Franz Keller
- 2020 BASSGEIGE STEINRIESE Spätburgunder GG Franz Keller
- 2020 ALTE BURG Spätburgunder GG Bernhard Huber
- 2020 SCHLOSSBERG Spätburgunder GG Bernhard Huber
- 2020 SOMMERHALDE Spätburgunder GG Bernhard Huber
- 2020 KIRCHENSTÜCK Spätburgunder GG Battenfeld Spanier
- 2020 HASSEL Spätburgunder GG Kaufmann
- 2020 KOSTERT Spätburgunder GG Jülg
- 2020 GIPS MARIENGLAS® Spätburgunder GG Aldinger
- 2020 LÄMMLER Spätburgunder GG Aldinger
- 2019 KIRSCHGARTEN Spätburgunder GG Philipp Kuhn
- 2017 IM SONNENSCHEIN Spätburgunder GG Ökonomierat Rebholz
Text by Sascha Speicher
Reviews by Alexandra Wrann, Christoph Nicklas and Sascha Speicher