Hans Lang Edition Maximilian Pinot Noir 2009

inotNoir2009A German red at Trader Joe’s!  In fact, when I picked this one up, I also saw a Dornfelder from Joseph Händler there, too.  I had tasted the 2012 Händler Riesling not too long ago, so I thought it would be better to try something from a different wine house now.  I’ll go back for the Dornfelder, to be sure.

Winemaker: Weinhaus Hans Lang
Wine: Edition Maximilian, Pinot Noir
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Vintage: 2009
Appellation: Rheingau, Germany
Price: $6.99 at Trader Joe’s*

Notes:  Well, this was an interesting selection!  First, it had quite a pungent bouquet of strawberry with little hints of earth and spice.  In the glass it was a light ruby color.  On the palate is where it got interesting.  I might even say unusual for a Pinot Noir.  In this light German red I found a core of ripe strawberry with a cranberry accompaniment.  There was also a very present tartness that surrounded but didn’t completely obscure the other flavors.  On the mid-palate came the sweetness (alcohol is at 11.5%) along with some suggestions of spice.  As the wine approached it’s finish, the tart returned and was joined by the modest tannins which – while bringing a very pleasant fuzzy-tongue feeling – added just another touch of tart.  I was not sure if I liked this wine.  And remember: cranberry sauce is my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner.

After tasting it, I certainly didn’t imagine the 2009 Edition Maximilian Pinot Noir was going to be a wine I’d like to just sip and savor.  Still, I thought it had it’s good points for a cheap table red.  And I suspected it might stand up to light spicy dishes.  So I took the whole grain pasta I was going to have for dinner, added a little more fire (red pepper flakes), and tried them together.  Indeed, the light sweetness of the wine moderated the pepper a bit while the pepper reduced the tart quotient of the wine considerably.  So, for me, I could drink this wine to accompany a light and spicy pasta or pizza, but I wouldn’t serve it to guests whose tolerance for tartness I don’t know well.  Because if you don’t like tart flavors, you will definitely not like this wine.

Important: I am not a professional sommelier or wine connoisseur. See “About” for the full disclaimer.

* Initially, I mistakenly posted a price of $4.99.  But somehow it just didn’t seem right.  So upon rechecking my receipts, I have updated this post to reflect the correct price.