Kaiserberg Herbolzheim Spätburgunder 2015

96/100 Points by Gault Millau

Grape: Pinot Noir
Alcohol: 14% abv
Type: Dry Red
Vintage: 2015
Format: 75cl
Classification: Lagenwein (Classified Superior Single Vineyard)
Region: Baden
Country: Germany




The bottle and of course the price indicates that we are at the top of the advancing German wine industry. Fritz Waßmer has simply created a monumental Spätburgunder that simply needs to be experienced. This Spätburgunder created from the fruit of 2 small terraces high up on the so-called Kaiserberg, east of the small town of Herbolzheim. The fruit from this simply can no longer be squeezed into an XXL and the result is this cuvée, which has already received so much attention that although in its debut vintage, it has entered the wine list of a number of Germany’s hyped gourmet restaurants. The grapes are harvested by hand and placed in small plastic boxes before being driven down to the winery where all stalks are removed before the grapes are crushed and spontaneously fermented in open new French casks. After that, they’re left for 24 months of aging in the same casks. The final wine is put together in stainless steel vats and bottled without clarification or filtration. The plan is that this Herbolzheimer Kaiserberg wine should only be produced in the best vintages, so it is no coincidence that this debut takes place with the fruit of a year when a wonderfully dry and warm summer was followed by cool days in September and October. 2015 is the best vintage for Pinot Noir in Baden since 2009. An excellent, extremely potent and very promising Pinot Noir that already makes you think of the most sexy wines of Morey Saint Denis. The wine opens with a fascinating scent where the sweet exotic spices of the oak completely embrace the fruit, but slowly forest strawberries, dark cherries and raspberries begin to join in. The wine is full-bodied, very aromatic and very rich in, but just before it all gets too bombastic a lively fruit acid ripples and ensures that the superlatives stay in line. Undoubtedly the most subtle and powerful Spätburgunder from Fritz Waßmer to date, and surely a wine that, although already very generous, will become more sophisticated over time.