This soft and full Pinot Noir comes from a family-owned wine estate in Rheinhessen, Germany, that's known for its Pinots. No wonder, as this one is absolutely stunning! On the nose, it heaves with bright cherry, a hit of salt and pepper, and a swirl of smoke. In the mouth, it bursts with fresh raspberries and strawberries and has low tannins and a wonderful creaminess mid-palate.
Red cherry, raspberry, black pepper, smoke and salt.
Nestled between the Rhine and Nahe rivers, the Rheinhessen is Germany's largest wine region. The Schäfer family has been cultivating vines in the Rhine valley since 1709. The winery is near the quaint village of Mettenheim, with vineyards planted on the Schlossberg and Goldberg slopes, rich with loamy, sandy soil. At the helm today are Volker Schäfer and his father Karl-Ludwig, who was the region's first Pinot Noir enthusiast. Years ago, a friend of Karl-Ludwig's gave him some Pinot Noir vines so he did what any self-respecting winemaker would do: he stuck them in the ground. It's strictly a family affair--Volker's wife Frederike and two sons, Phillip and Felix, help out with the vine tending and winemaking. The Schäfer's cellar is refreshingly unpolished--wet, dark, old--while the wines that come out of it are just the opposite: clean, bright, fresh, and full-bodied. The Pinots are usually given at least 12 months to mature in wood before bottling.
Pinot Noir is a wonderful pairing for surf and turf. Not your traditional surf and turf mind you, but rather salmon and chicken. It also works wonderfully with beets, which will bring out the lively red cherry and raspberry fruit flavors in this wine. Try the Shafer with my Roasted Beet, Orange, and Onion Salad. For this preparation, I roast the beets instead of steaming or boiling as it intensifies the flavors. Topped with end of the season oranges and sweet roasted onions and a little goat cheese, it makes for a wonderful first course or light lunch, especially with an added piece of salmon.
"Spätburgunder" is the German term for Pinot Noir. Sounds more appealing in English perhaps?