2020 Reichsrat Von Buhl, Rosé of Pinot Noir “Bone Dry” Pfalz, Germany.
Germany is now a hotbed for dry Rosé wines, with quality offerings from most every region and while many different varietals are used in these wines, I am drawn to the ones made from Pinot Noir, like Von Buhl’s very cool and exceptional “Bone Dry” version made with 100% Pinot Noir or Spatburgunder as it is known in most of the country, it is fresh and crisply detailed, but with a sense of seamless harmony and texture from the extended aging and lees contact. The palate is vibrant with ruby citrus and strawberry along with a nice spicy character as well as lingering sour cherries, wet chalk and rosewater. This is an elegant effort from the famous Von Buhl estate, though the label suggests it is very much a no pretense and playful wine, maybe so when compared to the elite selection of Rieslings in Von Buhl’s lineup of tasty treats, especially those remarkable Grosses Gewachs! The Reichsrat Von Buhl Dry Rosé was crafted with care and is not an afterthought or a fad led example with the winery picking these grapes to be exclusively made into Rosé. The Von Buhl is a non saignée pink wine, it is not, as they are careful to note, a by-product of red wine vinification, it was 100% going to be an independent program, coming from specially picked parcels of Pinot Noir set on sandstone soils with some limestone, loess and clay, all of which plays a part in allowing for mineral notes, body and ripe flavors at low sugars. The wine was carefully fermented and aged in cool stainless steel as well as partially raised in used barrique barrels with the Rosé being rested on the full yeast (lees) for a whole year, which significantly increases the mouthfeel and vinous quality, as this latest release shows perfectly. To achieve these impressive results the grapes were 100% de-stemmed and remained on the skins for between 8-14 hours, after which they gently pressed it with only 50% juice extraction to ensure concentration and limit bitter phenolics.
The VDP Reichsrat von Buhl estate has been a notable family-owned winery for more than 150 years, and has belonged to the circle of Germany’s the most prestigious properties and is loaded with top vineyard sites in the Pfalz, including parcels in the famous Deidesheimer and Forster terroirs. The long history and heritage at Reichsrat Von Buhl, since its original founding by Franz Peter Buhl back in 1849, it has stood for some of the quality and elegance of Pfalz Rieslings, one of Germany’s most noble wineries, was almost lost until Achim Niederberger took over in 2013 and under his direction the quality has risen dramatically to new heights and restored this grand estate’s reputation. It is interesting to think that the Von Buhl wines were some of the most expensive wines in the world and were very much a collectable label with the rich and famous, including the legendary German chancellor Otto von Bismarck, who was a huge fan of the wines here. With the talents of Mathieu Kauffmann, as director of winemaking, now a new exciting era in the history of Reichsrat von Buhl has begun in earnest with great care in the vineyards, which are all farmed with sustainable methods being employed, with the vines getting guidance by the renowned viticulturist Werner Sebastian, a longtime employe at Von Buhl, as well as a serious effort to preserve the house style of these classic wines. Von Buhl’s current holdings are spectacular sites, these include Forster Kirchenstück, Ungeheuer, Pechstein, Jesuitengarten, Freundstück and the Deidesheim sites Leinhöhle, Herrgottsacker, Kiesleberg and the Paradiesgarten, all in the region’s who’s who of greatness! The Pfalz is blessed with outstanding quality these days with the likes of Mueller-Catoir, Bassermann-Jordan, Reichsrat von Buhl and one of my favorites Von Winning – Dr. Deinhard, all being great estates to search out, especially for Riesling with many world class GGs on offer, along with some serious examples of Pinot Noir, called Spatburgunder locally, Sauvignon Blanc and rarities like Muskateller, Rieslaner and Scheurebe, plus fun stuff like a Sekt bubbly and this delicious Rosé.
($24 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive