MARCH THIRST CLUB–BORELL-DIEHL PFALZ PINOT NOIR TROCKEN 2016

STORY

When you hear Pinot Noir, your first thoughts will likely drift to Burgundy, California, Oregon, or New Zealand. Who are we forgetting? Believe it or not Germany produces nearly three times as much Pinot (called Spätburgunder here) as New Zealand, and isn’t far behind the US in terms of hectares planted. Indeed, by most accounts, Pinot Noir has a longer history in Germany than Riesling–that classic German variety. It is thought to have been brought over from its home in Burgundy as early as the 9th Century. Yet, it remains virtually unknown. The great expressions are often like wilder, lighter-bodied cousins to your favorite Bourgogne rouge. The Trocken (dry) Pinot from Borell-Diehl is one of the best–a perfect entry into the category.

TASTING On the nose, this Pinot pulls you in with notes of dusty cherries, zesty citrus, and fresh herbs. It is an earth-driven Pinot for sure, with a wild edge to it rarely found in red Burgundy or Californian expressions. As with all great old-world Pinot, Borell-Diehl’s is light, low alcohol, and supremely fresh, showing no over-ripeness or excessive concentration. The perfect wine for vegetarian dishes, try it with our recipe for Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Broccoli Rabe.

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Borell-Diehl’s Spätburgunder is made with freshness in mind, yet punches well above its weight in terms of complexity. While most fruit-forward Pinots are reared in tank to preserve fruit and acidity, Borell-Diehl takes the extra step of aging theirs in old French oak. This allows the Pinot to breathe a bit more, developing more depth along the way. The Pfalz region where the vineyards are located is right on the border of France’s Alsace, and the two regions share a relatively cool climate terroir. As such you’ll find many of the same grape varieties planted in both regions– Pinot Noir included.