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Holger Koch, * Pinot Noir 2016
Pinot Noir 100%
Impressive with lifted aromas of wild strawberry and lychees, a touch of mushrooms and a delicate hint of smokiness. Extremely delicate and juicy with fine tannin, it drinks like a young Burgundy with some spiciness and a vibrant minerality.
The Goal with all of Holgers wines is Finesse. As he says in his own words: "The meeting of purity, strength and vitality. All our wines should impress with their finely nuanced and refreshing length in the mouth. We do not understand concentration as force or fat, but as elegant sustainability, which is carried solely by intense grape aromas.
Drinking pleasure is at a high level, stimulating enjoyment and ideal accompaniment to meals are the ultimate goal of our work in the vineyard and cellar."
Baden, and in particular the pretty range of hills known as the Kaiserstuhl (Emperors chair), is the traditional seat of German Pinot Noir production. Holger Kochs small 8.5 hectare estate lies at its heart. Growing up, he was ambivalent about making wine a career, but under some parental pressure did apprenticeships at estates in Baden, and four years of studies at Geisenheim. But he really fell in love with wine in Bordeaux, under the tutelage of Stefan Neipperg at Canon La Gaffeliere, who opened his eyes to its thrilling possibilities. Four years running the famous Franz Keller Schwarzer Adler estate in Baden distilled his experiences into the aspiration to make pure, uncompromising, terroir-driven wines. And so he does. He took over the family vineyards in 1999, and within five years had replanted half of them with proper clones; now 80% of the estate has been replanted. Its heart is the Herrenstuck, with loess soils on volcanic bedrock, which produces cool, balanced reds and whites of great finesse. Always searching to improve quality, he is carefully experimenting with whole-cluster fermentation, skin contact for whites, and the use of new oak, but never at the expense of elegance.