2014 Weingut Friedrich Becker, Pinot Noir, Pfalz, Germany.
Still fresh and gracefully textured, the basic 2014 estate Pinot Noir is nicely put together with layers of smoky black cherry, plum and strawberry fruits, all accented with spice, mineral, forest floor and black tea notes, it gains a pretty floral background and has a dry stony saline element makes it joyous on the medium bodied palate. My first German Pinots included the famed Meyer-Nakel, in the Ahr valley, August Kesseler, sourced from the historic Assmanshauser Hollenberg in the Rheingau and Friedrich Becker’s Pfalz Pinot that comes from vineyards the cross the border with France, they all left a massive impression on me and remain some of my favorite wines and this wine is a reminder of why, with its class and quality. Intriguingly, Becker has an interesting array of grapes, from rarities in Germany, Meunier and Cabernet, along with a collection of Alsace varietals, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Muscat, Gewürztraminer and even some Sylvaner. So, there is a lot to discover here, but you really need to chase down the stellar lineup of Pinot (Spatburgunder) at Becker, with this bottling being an excellent place to start. The Becker winery isn’t that old by German standards, founded back in 1973 when Friedrich Becker Sr. filled his first bottles with the iconic fox on the label and a star was born.

As I have noted in my prior reviews, one of Germany’s best known Pinot Noir producers, Weingut Friedrich Becker, in the Pfalz crafts some beautiful and detailed wines in this unique terroir, these are wines that, especially their Pinots that have Burgundy like class and character. The winery is run by the Becker family, Friedrich Becker Senior and Junior, who’s doing most of the heavy lifting these days, they have Gerard Paul, an Alsatian as their general manager, as well as the talents of Sandrine Eichenlaub in vineyard and cellar along with Daniel Scheib. Becker’s tight team are extremely focused and the wines speak for themselves, especially the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay offerings. The Pinots come from the area’s sandstone and alluvial soils and sustainable vines, they are then produced with traditional Burgundian methods. The Becker wine-making process itself is, as they explain, rather simple and classic, using all de-stemmed berries and are macerated and fermented in open top fermenters allowing the must time to dissolve the tannins from skins. After which they take the spicy and aromatic mash by hand to the wine press where it gently pressed and then racked to toasty French oak barrels, with this one seeing a small percentage of new wood. Becker continues to raise the bar and these wines are coveted by enthusiasts and the latest Pinots are delicious, plus their Chard, which I recently reviewed is outstanding too, don’t miss a chance to try them.
($30 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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