2011Becker22011 Friedrich Becker Family, Pinot Noir, Pfalz Germany.
Located in Germany’s Pfalz region near Sweigen, close to Alsace, Weingut Friedrich Becker is one of the top producers of Pinot Noir (Spatburgunder) and farms many Cru sites. I was first introduced to Becker’s fine Pinot Noir back in 2008, and because of it’s fame and rarity, I haven’t seen many bottles since, these are hugely coveted wines and are amazing examples of this varietal and region. The 2011 Becker Pinot Noir, what they call “Estate” in the US importers book, is a dry and classy version and is very similar to a Nuits-Saint-Georges village Burgundy in style, while Becker makes Grand Cru (Grosses Gewachs) which are much richer, fuller and see new French oak, this base entry level wine is light, tangy and intriguing just the way it is. With sandstone, loam and clay soils these Pinots are very different from the slate soils in the Rhein or Ahr, plus the Pfalz is rolling hills instead of steep terraces, this maybe why the Pfalz Pinots seem more similar to the French wines, but that said these are pure Spatburgunder, German to the core, and Becker certainly has a very gifted touch. The 2011 Becker Family Pinot starts with wild herbs, dried flowers, truffle and earthy red fruits along with a bacon note, it takes a little time to unwind and then opens to blueberry, cherry, balsamic strawberry and spiced plum along with cranberry, anise, chalk, saline, savory elements and just the slightest hint of smoky oak on the refined and tartly dry palate. At 13.5% this is not flamboyant or a big style wine, though it does show the vintage ripeness and character, it is very pleasing and well judged, this offering is meant to be enjoyed young and I advise you to do so as well, drink now through 2018. Becker is never easy to find and collectors should search out his Cru bottlings no question, be sure to keep your eyes open for them.
($24 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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