Happening Now Tasting 11: Weingut Künstler Spätburgunder 1999, Rheingau

In the newest “edition” of “Happening Now Tasting“ it is time for some little Red Hock. As you already might have realized – I am not the biggest fan of German Pinot Noir resp. Spätburgunder in general. These wines aren't well represented one my personal wine list. Not to speak of writing about them ... - Anyway! Today I'd like to make an exception and try my luck with a highly aged 1999 Spätburgunder from Rheingau Region. Let's check it out, this Künstler Pinot ...

6:56 pm (just opened)

Colour: very transparent, pale and a bit red brown'ish colour towards the rim, in the core still vital bright ruby red

Nose: a bit sleepy, hope not dead (although would be such a surprise), smoke, very ripe and dark raisin'ish strawberry fruit, tobacco, a bit cabbage and a few matches. A rather light and definitely not ugly nose impression so far.

Taste: rather tart and lean fellow, touch of smokiness, some herbs plus a little bit of cabbage, few traces of Finnish liquorice (luckily), slightly mute strawberries (not as ripe and heat stressed as the nose predicted) with some vigor left, still gentle acid; so to speak not a lot of pressure on the palate, close to mediocre finish; luckily there isn't any bitterness or indications for total excess of age. I am very happy to declare:

Alive! ... mostly

8:11 pm

Nose: no significant aroma or character shifts, perhaps a little bit degrading

Taste: the herbaceous-tobacco flavours are gaining ground - so far no surprise, however still somehow in its own particular way it is holding up and appears enjoyable (to a certain extent). Those rather mute fruit flavours are still present, but more diffuse now, still no real bitterness or major age-issues; I think this Pinot is about to say farewell within the next minutes …

(Premature) Conclusion: still alive – once again Künstler is showing that his wines need time (even the red ones), in this case it was maybe a little bit too much time; the style was lean, a bit stern, not too fresh, surely not complicated or intellectual, not too short and rather ripe (concerning the fruit); I dare to write: the Künstler handwriting is noticeable; for me a definitely drinkable so la-la *** Spätburgunder experience. Have had far worse Pinot from big Teutonic (wine)names.

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