Friday, 2 January 2015

Bernhard Huber's Spätburgunder Schlossberg

Starting the year as I mean to go on. ... That would be wishful thinking, as it's not every day I get to enjoy a wine like this. I bought this bottle courtesy of a little monetary birthday present from my mother-in-law. Vicky, you are the best mother-in-law ever.

Weingut Bernhard Huber, GG Schlossberg "R" Spätburgunder trocken 2011, Baden
Had it not been for Vicky's kind donation, I would have been highly reluctant to spend so much on one bottle. As it happened, it gave me the chance to enjoy a top "Burgundian" red wine still at a fraction of top Burgundian prices.

Bernhard Huber passed away last summer. Judging by the tributes that poured in, he was revered not only in his home country but admired by his colleagues and kindred spirits in Burgundy and beyond.

Starting the year? Ending it more like. It was New Year's Eve and my wife cooked a lovely meal for us consisting of rack of lamb, new potatoes, roasted carrots and balsamic cherry tomatoes. In anticipation, I had opened the bottle 24 hours in advance, putting the cork back in immediately. The bottle was then bought back up from the cellar an hour before the meal was served, so as to warm up slightly but not too much.

Hecklinger Schlossberg is a steep gradient of 72 to 96 percent with the same type of yellow limestone soil that prevails on the Côte de Nuits. Quite a dark reddish sort of ruby. Immediately very approachable on the nose. Extremely pure and fresh, but imbued with great aromatic density. Cherry, plum and a distinctive minty scent, along with nuts, hints of curry and the finest and most unobtrusive note of cedar you could imagine. What sets this wine apart is its incredible freshness in the mouth. And I really mean fresh. For all its individual aromas and flavours, it is the scintillatingly mouthwatering acidity that leaves the most indelible mark. Frankly I've barely tasted a fresher wine, red or white. Multi-layered and concentrated on the one hand, yet finely boned and cooling on the other, with not an ounce of fat. A bone-dry chalky mintiness emerges, lending complexity and elegance. It goes without saying that the finish is exceedingly long. Even for a wine in its relative infancy, this must be one of if not the best Pinot Noir I've drunk in my life.

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