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Germany_Pfalz

Ahhhhh.....the Pfalz. Arguably home to the most beautiful small towns in German wine country. The Pfalz is south of the Mosel and the Nahe and it typically is much warmer than their counterparts up north and there are other grapes grown besides Riesling. But still the highest quality wine to come out of the Pfalz is Riesling. But also some profound Pinot Noirs, Gewurztraminers, Weissburgunders, Grauburgunders, Muller-Thurgaus and Schuerebes make their homes here. German tourists come here, especially during the summer for tastings are estates and many weinfests. It is a great place to experience German wine and maybe my favorite region to taste and hang out in. 

There are many classic estates like Von Buhl and Basserman-Jordan but I believe the most exciting wine being made in the Pfalz is by relatively new up and comers like Becker in Schweigen and Rebholz in Siebildingen. The Pfalz is also a big producer of the Grosses Gewachs bottlings which are big, powerful dry wines made from the best sites. For me these are the most exciting wines being made in the Pfalz today and some of the most exciting Rieslings made anywhere in the world. There are so many great sites such as Kirchenstuck, Pechstein, Welberg, Kastanienbusch, Gasibohl and a number of others that are all excellent representations of the Grosses Gewachs style. These bottlings will run you between $35-$100.

The flavor profile of Pfalz wines is typically riper than up north with exceptional acidity and a rocky type of minerality. Lots of peaches, nectarines and stone fruits ands a slightly kinky aspect that is hard to put in to words. But when you stick your nose in a glass of Pfalz wine it is unmistakeable as is the slate from the Mosel when you stick your schnozz in a glass of say Willi Schaefer. The quality here is generally high but beware in hot vintages like 2006 and 2003 Pfalz wines can become blowsy, formless and overripe. Just try a 2003 Messmer or Muller-Catoir. So I would avoid those vintages at all costs unless it is a wine you know ad have tasted or is from a top producer like Rebholz or Dr. Burklin Wolf. 

Now onto the physical beauty of the Pfalz, For me it is Mecca. Rolling hills, small quaint towns and just some of the nicest most humble winemakers you will ever meet. There is a series of 40 wine villages in the Pfalz all connected by the Deutch Weinstrasse or the German Wine Route. I highly reccomend it for any visitor to the region as a way to see the beauty that is the Pfalz.

The Pfalz has come a long way since it was called the Rheinpfalz and has a huge amount of vineyards. 23, 400 ha is alot of vineyards. In the old days most of the vineyards yielded wines that were sold to co-ops, local consumers or directly to restaurants or wine merchants. The Pfalz now has an international reputation owed much to hard work of the great retired (kind of) Hans-Gunter Schwarz of the great Muller-Catoir winery. Everybody who is anybody has worked under him and he is considered the father of the region and its spokesperson. There are a lot of great producers in the Pfalz so my list will a bit long, again in no particular order as all these producers merit attention.


Notable Recent Vintages: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2005, 2004, 2002, 2001

Top producers of Pfalz (in no particular order) include:
  • Rebholz
  • Muller-Catoir
  • Georg Mosbacher
  • Dr. Burkin Wolf
  • Becker (Insane Pinot Noirs!)
  • Dr. Von Basserman Jordan
  • Herbert Messmer
  • Koehler-Ruprecht
  • Pfeffingen
  • Von Buhl
  • Knipser
  • Christmann
  • Dr. Wehrheim
  • Joseph Biffar (older stuff, pre-2004)
  • Weegmuller
  • A. Christmann
  • Kurt Darting (top values!)
  • Theo Minges (good solid wines but not top class)
  • Gies-Duppel
  • Phillip Kuhn
  • Siener



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