2021 Familie Friedrich Becker, Chardonnay, Pfalz, Germany.
The estate grown Family Friedrich Becker Chardonnay is wildly delicious stuff, drawing inspiration from Chablis and Puligny (white Burgundy) wines, this German Chardonnay is loaded with mineral intensity and shows off a brilliant array of bright flavors leaning on preserved lemon, white peach and classic apple and pear fruits, along with a leesy depth, white flowers, wet stone, clove spice and hazelnut. Dry and lively, with a reduction flinty essence, this chalky toned Pfalz Chardonnay has a lovely and graceful textural medium bodied palate and delivers quality way above its price point. This wine sits one place up from Becker’s base tier of wines, just below their “Mineral” and the VDP Cru Schweigen single vineyard wine, which considering how good this wine is, must be fantastic. I’m a big fan of the wines at Becker and am grateful to Tim Gaiser MS for first introducing me to them about the time that Fritz Becker Jr. took over here, and while it was obviously the Pinots that drew me in, this Chardonnay an outstanding effort that deserves wider attention. This Family Friedrich Becker Chardonnay was made from hand tended vines and was hand harvested with a careful and rigorous selection of the grapes in the vineyards and in the cellar, where this wine saw a barrel fermentation and was aged in a combination of large and small barrels, to promote clarity of detail and only a small a new wood is used.
The Weingut Friedrich Becker, a founding member of the VDP, is uniquely situated almost between the border of Germany and France, in Schweigen, in the southernmost part of the Pfalz region and is noted for some of Europe’s best Pinot Noir wines, as well as specializing in Chardonnay, as seen here, along with Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and even Meunier. In fact, they have vineyards on both the French and German side, with 30 hectares planted to vines at the edge of the Palatinate forest, with as the winery notes, actually with 50 percent of their land situated on the French side in Alsace, though they are bottled as Pfalz wines. The limestone based soils and deep marls, with various topsoils here really favors the Burgundian grapes and the terroir allows for ripe and complex mineral driven flavors, while retaining vigorous acidity, which provides excellent balance and elegance. In recent history, Fritz Becker Jr., who is the 7th Generation to make wine here, took over from his dad in 2005 and though trying to fill some big shoes has pushed the wines to the next level and collectors and Pinot enthusiasts eagerly await new releases and make it difficult to find these excellent wines, especially the Cru bottlings. I look forward to try the rest of the latest releases, which are imported by The German Wine Collection to the United States, and again the Pinots in particular, with the rare GG’s being of special interest, but also a few of the alternative varietals, like the mentioned Meunier, Pinot Blanc and the Becker Rosé, which I really enjoyed the last time I tried it.
($30 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive