04 March 2010

The Long Delay

My apologies go out to those who've been anxiously awaiting the tasting notes from Strasbourg's 2010 Exposition des Vins des Vignerons Independants.  I'm not delaying intentionally; there's just other stuff going on, and that will be a long post.  In the meantime, two great mid-week wines struck me as particularly good, and  I felt them worthy of mention here.

The first wine was Georg Rumpf's 2005 Spaetburgunder 'M' (13,5% abv).  With a vibrant garnet hue and opaque profile (still translucent from above), this looks like it could be Cru Beaujolais, not what's typical for German mid-level Pinot Noir.  I'm used to the really light, almost pinkish stuff that infiltrates the wine-lists of nearly every ur-typical German restaurant this side of the Rhein.  But then again, while this wine masquerades as the 'M'id-tier Pinot at Weingut Kruger Rumpf, it's everything and anything but.  The nose is an army of assaulting forces, but it takes a good 30 minutes to grasp the onslaught.  Black licorice and cassis assail, with follow-on support from the likes of maple-y gingerbread, cinnamon powder, and steeped tarragon and rosemary.

The palate is the textbook expression of maturity and integration.  I believe this will not get any better than it is right now.  Seamlessly textured, round in an Einstein-ish way (as in perfect), and finishing with long silky poise, this Pinot expresses everything that is great and preferable in German Spaetburgunder (Pinot Noir).  Judicious, discreet application of oak, tightly knit acidity, the ability to transmit both the red and dark fruit characteristics and, likewise, the ability to transmit those earthy, herby aspects specific to site that inform the Rumpfs' related bottlings.  All that in a preeminently quaffable, light-on-its-feet style that says "Drink me," as much as it says, "Study me."  Serious stuff that I'd serve to both novice and self-absorbed wine snob.

Oddly enough, this stuff tastes even better with Steve Winwood's 'Chronicles' in the background...

Check the next post for mid-week wine # 2.

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