Jean Stodden is one of the top producers of Pinot Noir in the world. To say that the Ahr Valley is a unique habitat for growing grapes is an understatement. I’m positive this is definitely one of the most (if not the most) unique places for growing Pinot Noir in the world. This is Germany’s northernmost wine region. At 560 hectares (1,250 acres), it is also one of the smallest. Jean Stodden has 6.5 Has of vineyards in Rech split among three mountain vineyards: Recher Herrenberg, Dernauer Hardtberg and Ahrweiler Rosenthal. These vines are amongst the most northern in Germany and all the vines are perched precariously on extremely steep slopes composed of mostly slate that can only be tended to by hand; a few solitary parcels require mountain climbing skills to be reached. The soil is ideal as it retains heat well that’s obviously important to this overparticular varietal. The Ahr river and the Eifel mountain range create the warm yet moderate microclimate ideal for producing top shelf Pinot Noir. Due to the Nordic location, the days during the growing season are immensely long, but the intensity of the sun is less than that of France’s Burgundy region. The result? Uniform warmth throughout the long days with cool nights that Pinot Noir flourishes in. Jean Stodden does not seem to compare the Ahr to Burgundy, he only wants to make wines that showcase the terroir of the region. Only 5-6% of his wines are exported outside of Germany.
Complex aroma, ranging from wild cherry on blackberry and cassis to wild berries, some bacon and candied oranges, fine cherry and berries, cedar, fruity-berry palate spectacle; tannin is present with bite and gives a glimpse of the great potential, the reverberation transforms the fruit into notes of chocolate / coffee bean on the finish.