2017 Weingut Leitz, Pinot Noir Rosé Sekt Brut, Rheingau Sparkling Wine, Germany.
The lightly leesy Leitz Rosé Sekt is made from 100% de-stemmed Pinot Noir grapes from the Rheingau’s middle part from vines set on loam and loess soils in a warmer area, but still allowing for classic acidity and vibrancy of flavors in a Champagne style bubbly. German bubbly is being taking much more serious these days, what was once a novelty is now an almost a must have for every producer and Johannes Leitz’s versions are remarkable for quality and price, especially this Pinot Noir Rosé Sekt with its tart cherry, strawberry and racy citrus notes and creamy fine mousse. This delicious pink sparkler saw a brief maceration on the skins to give that lovely salmon/pink hue, with the grapes undergoing a gentle press cycle before the juice is then racked to tank and, true to the definition of weissherbst, the winery treats it just like a white wine from there on out. The juice undergoes a long, cool primary fermentation in stainless, as do the tank-fermented Rieslings, like the Dragon Stone and Kabinett, here at Leitz, then the secondary fermentation occurs as well in stainless steel in large pressurized tanks, before the lees aging and traditional sparkling techniques are employed.
Leitz is one of Germany’s top estate wineries and one of the top producers in the Rheingau with great holdings mostly around the town of Ruedesheim, including some exceptional Grand Cru vineyards on the famous Ruedesheimer Berg (Magic Mountain) with plots in the famed Schlossberg and Kaisersteinfels as well as in the Drachenstein (Dragon Stone) to name a few. Leitz also does a few things besides Riesling, including Sylvaner and Spatburgunder (Pinot Noir) with two Sparklers, of which this is one. Bright and easy to love the Leitz Pinot Noir Rosé Sekt adds a nice sense of varietal character, mineral tones, wet stone and brioche in the glass, making it a joy for any occasion, it’s as good as many basic Rosé Brut Champagnes at twice the price. Dry, but generous this Brut level bubbly just feels right and gives luxurious detail, it is excellent on its own, but does well with lots of food choices and can be joyous with brunch and or picnics. It is nice to see Sekt get more available in the States, especially the more sophisticated examples, some of which, like Schlossgut Diel’s are every bit as grand as the top Champagne houses and Leitz’s is maybe less serious, but still loads of fun and with wonderful value for the buck.
($30 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive