Delicious Spätburgunder at a Very Reasonable Price

Today’s Story: Shelter Winery

Shelter Winery is a fairly small family-owned winery, established in 2003 by husband and wife duo Hans-Bert Espe and Silke Wolf. Situated in the Baden region of Germany on the eastern side of the Rhine River, Shelter holds vineyards in the villages of Kenzingen and Malterdingen and they are dedicated to the production of Spätburgunder/Pinot Noir. Today their vineyard holdings consist of five hectares (12 acres) and Shelter is dedicated to organic viticulture with zero use of herbicides or pesticides. Harvest is accomplished fully by hand, and the fruit is destemmed at the winery prior to a cold soak and delicate pressing. Fermentation occurs in open top vessels using only native yeasts, and the wine is then transferred to oak barrels of which the majority are used. The end result is a Spätburgunder that is both true to variety and place, while the cooler climate of their vineyards generally yield lower alcohol and higher natural acidity.

Today’s Wine: 2018 Spätburgunder

100% Pinot Noir; 13% ABV

The 2018 Spätburgunder is medium ruby in color. Given some time to open up in the glass, this blossoms beautifully with aromas of medium (+) intensity and a nose of cherry, black raspberry, wild strawberry, blood orange rind, rose petal, anise, leather, a hint of barnyard, charred green herbs, white pepper, and mild baking spice. Meanwhile the flavors are also of medium (+) intensity, and the palate showcases notes of black cherry, black raspberry, red plum, muddled strawberry, licorice, cola, dried tobacco leaf, green pepper, underbrush, and cocoa powder. This dry red is light- to medium-bodied with medium (+) acidity, low tannins, medium alcohol, and a medium (+) length finish. Very good quality, particularly given the price-point.

Price: $27. I think this is pretty solid value, particularly given how expressive and complex this is after a little air time. It’s also well-balanced and is a fun yet serious representation of German Spätburgunder/Pinot Noir.

If this wine seems like something you might enjoy, you may find this link helpful in locating it.