2014dielpn2015 Schlossgut Diel, Pinot Noir, C “Cuvee Caroline” Nahe Germany.
This wine absolutely blew me away, and considering the difficult nature of the vintage, it is truly amazing wine with delicacy and texture with layers above layers of subtle and caressing fruit, spice, mineral and silken tannins, it’s gorgeous from every angle without being overt or shy, one of the best German Pinot Noirs I’ve ever tasted, and even better to taste in their home at Schlossgut Diel. A huge thank you to family Diel for taking me in last minute, durning harvest, to taste through the wines, especially Sylvain Taurisson, Caroline’s charming husband, he took time to show me vineyards, locate rare bottles and all the while cooking for the cellar/harvest team, as well as telling me wonderful family stories, making for a an another awesome experience for my memory chips! All the 2015 Rieslings here were out of this world, both dry and fruity styles with the GG’s tight with extract and Grand Cru class, for the potential 100 Point quality if you can be patient! As I was tasting through, including some of Diel’s mastic long lees time bubbly of which I’ve never tried, I saw that Sylvain had the Cuvee Caroline Pinot 2014, and while I had the broad shouldered 2013 this summer, the 2014 was a preview, that was opened the day before for Stephan Reinhardt of Robert Parker, who had toured the Nahe the day before I got their and made my trips that much better as the wineries, Diel and Kruger-Rumpf had opened some extra special bottles that I’m sure I would have not otherwise been able to taste, so I am very grateful to Stephan, cheers buddy! The 2014 Diel Caroline Pinot is majestic and detailed with an array of rose petal, exotic spices, stones/minerals and lifted fruit essences that dreamy on the palate, this wine in every way seduces and pleases in a way not many but the finest Burgundies can, it shows lively black cherry, crushed strawberries, minty tangy, cinnamon stick, flinty spices and light cedar notes as well as hints of briar, saline, forest floor and smoke. This wine, maybe a touch lighter in style than the average from this winery, is remarkable in poise and length, the finish and impression goes on forever, and I am luck to that it had time to really open up and expand, before I tasted it, I can easily believe it will continue to develop and fill out over the coming 5 to 10 years, this is another wine that words on the page cannot do justice for. It was also fantastic to meet up with winemaker Caroline Diel briefly on her way back from her vines and see her 2016 Pinot Noir coming into the winery, where I watch them hand sort almost each berry! Caroline worked a harvest at Romanee-Conti and she takes that approach of severe hand sorting very seriously, and it shows in her wines, each of her wines show unique personalities, and the soils each add to their distinction, with gravel, slate, quartz and volcanic all adding to the mix. The top wines here rank among the world’s best, and while the prices reflect that, there are some sublime bargains in Caroline’s range, especially noteworthy in the 2015 vintage are the under $30/bt Rieslings: Von der Nahe, a fruity/easy style, and the two base Trockens, the Estate and the Dorsheim, plus her Kabinett from Goldloch is explosive in flavor and has incredible focus and depth. This was a spellbinding experience, and sitting with these wines, at their cellar, and in particular this lovely Pinot Noir was truly awesome!
($107 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive

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