Kaiserstuhl Pinot from Wairarapa soil: Johner Estate Pinot Noir 2009, Wairarapa

Today I got another wine from Johner Estate for you. One made from my most preferred varietal: Pinot Noir. As, I have already mentioned in my recent Wairarapa Riesling post, Karl-Heinz Johner is a well known winegrower from Kaiserstuhl/Baden region in the very south-west corner of Germany. After long working years on home soil and abroad (e.g. England!) he and his family decided to open up a second wine pillar on Aotearoa’s North Island not too far away from the capital Wellington. Two weeks ago I had the Wairarapa Riesling which I enjoyed in its own peculiar, or maybe better, unusual way. Today I would like to present you its red counterpart:

The Wairarapa Pinot Noir 2009. It is the wineries entry level Pinot for a more or less reasonable price. Its colour was very ruby red, a bit faint and appeared to look a bit watery on the rim. In my nose I fetched fragrances of strawberries, raspberries, maybe with a mild imprinting of marmalade, chicken soup (?) and slight bits of watery cucumber salad. The taste grasped for my palate. It was very fresh, intense and invigorating. A description I might never use for his Pinots from Baden in Germany. Its body was pretty light without being thin or boring. The acid was well integrated. The alcohol might have been a little bit too much for my taste. The fruitiness was semi sweet. Which was okay for me. The complexity of the flavours were contenting. On the one hand I got plenty of light red fruit flavours combined with impressions of rosehip* (*in older vintages of the Gladstone Pinot Noir something I did not really enjoy all too much because it was simply too rosehippie) on the other hand earthy aromas like autumn forest ground and mushrooms. Best of all there was no “oak situation” here! The way I see it this oak problem was and is one of the main problems of his German Pinots (over-oaked and over-extracted fellows). They appear much more New World’ish than some of his NZ Pinots. Although I have to admit a certain “Johner-Baden-Pinot-Paradigm-Shift (JBPPS)” to a more “natural style” (what a stupid expression, can't find a better one right now) took place in recent years. The Wairarapa Pinot did not have such problems. It was swift, accessible, enjoyable, not too monorail’ish and it went down the gullet like nothing.

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