Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Enderle & Moll Basis: An Intriguing German Pinot Noir
A German word for what you will likely better know as Pinot Noir. German Rieslings get most of the attention so many people don't realize that Pinot Noir is produced in Germany. In fact, Pinot Noir has been grown in Germany since at least the 14th century, though it never attained the fame of Burgundy, partially as the wines just didn't seem as good as those in Burgundy. However, their quality has greatly improved. Currently, there are approximately 12,000 hectares of Pinot Noir grown in Germany and we're starting to see more of those wines in the U.S. market.
Streetcar Wines, in Jamaica Plain, has an excellent and fascinating selection of wines, primarily from small producers and their prices are very reasonable. This is a wine lovers store, an intriguing place for people to explore and expand their palates. Recently, while perusing their shelves, I found the 2014 Enderle & Moll Basis Pinot Noir ($30) and owner Michael Dupuy told me that it might be his favorite German Pinot Noir. I chose to buy a bottle, as well as a number of other fascinating wines.
The Enderle & Moll winery, which is relatively new, is named for its two German owners, Sven Enderle and Florian Moll. The winery is located in the Baden region, in the Black Forest foothills between Offenburg and Freiburg im Breisgau. They have a small, 2.4 hectare vineyard, in the village of Münchweier, which they farm organically and they also purchase some grapes from another small, organic vineyard. Their Pinot Noir vines are some of the oldest in the Baden region and purchase aged barrels from a small estate in Burgundy. Enderle and Moll are seen as "contrarians," very different from many other neighboring German producers. They are very hands-on, producing wines which many might consider "natural wines." They also have a reputation for making some of the best Pinot Noir in Germany.
The 2014 Enderle & Moll Basis Pinot Noir is their entry-level Pinot and it is created from two different barrels. One barrel is from whole clusters that were foot-stomped while the other barrel was only 30% whole clusters. And this wine has only an 11.5% ABV, an amazingly low alcohol level compared to most other Pinot Noirs. This wine has a very light red color and on the nose, its present an alluring scent of cherry, mild spice and a touch of earthiness. On the palate, you'll be impressed with its elegance and complexity, its bright acidity and delightful flavors of red fruit, spice notes, earthy elements and a touch of herbs.
With a lengthy and pleasing finish, this is a killer Pinot, one that can easily compete with Pinots from any other region. It seems like a wine reflective of place, and it was easy to finish the bottle over the course of an evening. And if this is only their entry level wine, then I very much want to explore their higher end wines, to see the vinous magic they produce. I highly recommend this wine and also highly recommend you check out Streetcar Wines.