Pinot Noir, Schlossberg, Grosses Gewächs, 2015

  Rudolf Furst

Contains Sulphites.

About Rudolf Furst

The Furst family is said to have been involved in winemaking since the 17th century, during which time Spatburgunder vines have been a constant presence in Burgstadt. The sudden death of Rudolf Furst in 1975 saw his son Paul take over, a tenure that saw the estate’s holdings increase in size from 6 acres to almost 40, and now Paul’s son Sebastian is taking the reins. As an estate known primarily for its outstanding red wines (though the whites are also very good), its primary holdings are the Centrafenberg Vineyard in Burgstadter itself, a red standstone, moderately steep, due south facing vineyard from where they produce both Centgrafenberg Cuvess and the Hunsruck or Hounds Back, a slightly ridged portion of the vineyard that they refer to as the fillet of Centgrafenberg.

The wines at Furst are some of the very finest, most elegant examples of Spatburgunder we’ve ever tasted. Through a combination of detailed manual vineyard work, some great vineyards, and the very lightest of touches in the winery, Paul and Sebastian are turning region’s reputation for somewhat rustic wines, on its head. Very often mistaken for Burgundy, albeit perhaps a little more texturally sleek, these are undoubtedly world class – and a must for any lover of Pinot Noir and Spatburgunder alike.

The modern era at this estate, under Rudolf's son Paul and his son Sebastian has seen purchases of parcels of vines in the historic Centgrafenberg and incredibly steep Schlossberg vineyards, both famed for their pinot noir production. Every effort is taken it the vineyards to keep yields low, including the replanting 10 years ago of 2/3 of the Schlossberg vineyard with Fin and Tres Fin Burgundian clones. High density planting, green harvesting and intense canopy management are all ways in which the Fursts like to make the vines suffer, in an effort to have them produce even finer, more intense fruit, and purer, finer more sophisticated wines. It is a policy that undoubtedly works, as the ever increasingly high quality output from this superb estate attests to.

Appellation: Franken

Franken, or more specifically in our case Churfranken is a tiny winegrowing to the south east of Frankfurt. Sitting alongside the Main river, officially Mainz politically, it has a history of red wine production that dates back to the 13th century. Today, it is regarded as home to some of Germany’s finest red wines. Producers like Rudolf Furst and Steintal (formerly Benedikt Baltes) craft transparent, energy filled Pinot Noir here from steep, often terraced vineyards that at times seem to defy gravity. They rank amongst some of Germany’s most exciting wines, Pinot that acts like Riesling, showing off the predominantly red sandstone vineyards to great effect.

Grape Type: Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is the classic grape of red burgundy, whose greatest wines are concentrated in the east and south-east-facing clay/limestone hills of Burgundy's Côte d'Or. A notoriously temperamental variety, Pinot Noir has proved difficult to grow in certain climates and soils and will not tolerate over-cropping. The best examples have wonderfully expressive aromas and thrillingly pure bitter sweet red forest fruit and cherry flavours, developing truffle and game overtones with age. At their greatest they offer a lightness with intensity and are transparent enough to magnify the characteristics of the terroir in which they are grown. Outside of Burgundy, Pinot Noir has had great success in New Zealand, coastal California, Oregon, Hemel en Aarde in South Africa and the more marginal, cooler districts in Australia. Along with Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir is also one of the major components of Champagne.