2013 Laumersheimer Steinbuckel Pinot Noir GG (Grosses Gewächs)

2013 Laumersheimer Steinbuckel Pinot Noir GG (Grosses Gewächs)

GG (Grosses Gewächs) or Grand Crus denote those wines from classified single vineyards that unmistakably reflect the influence of their microclimate and soil structure, and show especially high quality potential. Wines from these top sites are on a par with the finest international growths. In accordance with VDP guidelines, we use vineyard names only if the site meets the criteria for classification set forth in 1999.

Producer

Philipp Kuhn’s family has lived in Laumersheim since the 17th century, which has 880 inhabitants. There and in the surrounding villages of Großkarlbach and Dirmstein lie its vineyards. Since 1992 Philipp Kuhn Junior, who was only 20 years old at the time, has been in charge of wine cultivation and production at the winery estate and now we get to taste the remarkable wines which resulted in Newcomer Winery of the Year in 2011 by Gault Millau Guide, Best Riesling and Pinot Noir 2016 Vinum and avid fans all around the globe. The Kuhn estate covers 25 hectares in locations on the northern Pfalz with various Grosse Lage sites, like this one. The Pfalz, which begins south of Rheinhessen and is in effect the northward extension of Alsace's Vosges foothills, is the warmest and driest of Germany's Riesling regions, supporting fuller-bodied wines that are typically dry. In fact, the soil here, like Alsace, shows great diversity, marked by alluvial gravel and various types of sedimentary rocks, as opposed to the near exclusive domination of slate in the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer.

Vintage

The 2013 vintage proved to be a challenging year forcing low yields in Pfalz (-6%) and Germany’s total wine volume in 2013 (8.4 million hectoliters) was down 7% from the previous vintage, which is 250,000 hectoliters under the ten-year average. That said, the more quality-conscious producers experienced much lower yields. In meteorological terms, 2013 was marked by a cool spring, late budbreak and uneven flowering. High in both acidity and dry extract, the 2013s were quite austere after bottling. Over the last several years however, the wines have gained both depth and body. The vintage also saw a great deal of botrytis. How these various components were managed at each individual estate was the key to success and again Philipp Kuhn mastered it well since this mouthwatering Spätburgunder even if it is on the pricier side since the harvest was extremely limited.

Vineyard Site

The Steinbuckel (stony slope) is a 150 meter high southern hill of a deep circular valley that contains large quantities of limestone rock. The cooler winds from the nearby Leininger Valley make the grapes ripen more slowly, and the characterful soil gives them their typical spiciness. “Steinbuckel” wines are the most long-lasting among Kuhn’s Great Growth (GG) wines. It a Pinot Noir of international calibre with a delicate, Burgundy-type character.

Harvest

The grapes are hand-picked in several runs from October to November to guarantee perfectly ripe yet healthy grapes.

Vinification

Fermentation is done by using the classical pulp method, which may take several weeks before all red wines are stored in wooden younger or new oak barrels for 16 to 20 months.

Analysis

Alcohol: 14.5% by vol
Acidity: 7.20
Residual Sugar: 1.50 g/l
Grape Variery
100% Pinot Noir

Tasting Notes

“Power is the game of this GG with its fair share of subtlety. Toasted sandalwood aromas may rule the early fragrance, but on the palate cherries deliver an almost eau-de-vie-like concentration and purity. The oak comes back in with dusty chocolate and spice, an almost medicinal notion reflects the contribution of minerality. Compact and full bodied with a firm tannic backbone, the Steinbuckel needs to be given a little time to show its softer side. Chill to 12-14° Celsius.” - 18/20 Jancis Robinson

Food Match

This full-bodied GG pairs beautifully with sea crab, mussels or even a zesty oysters. Chill to 6-10° Celsius.