Heger PinotNoir Badem (Dry; Quiltatswein; 13.5%) Joachim Heger/Ihringen/Kaiserstuhl/Baden 2013: Med.light color; quite earthy/dusty bit fecal/Kansas outhouse little fruit/slight cherry coma very strange not attractive nose; rather tart/lean/thin some unclean/fecal/outhouse fairly earthy/dusty very slight cherry cola fruit w/ light angular tannins; med. weak cherry cola rather earthy/dusty fairly fecal/Kansas outhouse w/ light sharp tannins; after breating 6 hrs (in the open btl); the fecal/outhouse leaving a weak black cherry/tomatoey/earthy/dustyslight smokey/acrid character; reminds a bit of an old-timey UkiahVlly PN/woody by Parducci; pretty disappointing. $18.50 (KK)
A wee BloodyPulpit:
There has been a lot of buzz of late on the improving quality of PinotNoirs from the Baden area. This example does not lend much support to that claim.
I am not familiar with this particular producer, but I don’t think you should judge the quality of Baden (or German more generally) Pinot Noir (Spätburgunder) on the basis of this single example. To my mind, the quality has indeed improved and much of the PN I drink is now German. When they first started to try to make more “serious” wine from PN in Germany some 20 years ago, I encountered quite a few overoaked examples. But this is much less of a problem now than it was for a while. From Baden, specifically, you might like to try the wines of Bernhard Huber. But I have had quite a few satisfactory bottles from less famous producers as well.
How much sense it makes to seek these wines out on the US market is another matter. I have the impression that most German PN is consumed within Germany and the US certainly has its fair share of good PN producers (although I am less familiar with them than I might have reason to be).
Well, Anders…I’m a LosAlamos guy. We make wild extrapolations all the time on the basis of one data point…sometimes even no data points.
I wasn’t condemming the entire genre of Baden Pinots based on this one wine. I’ve had a few over the yrs that I thought were quite good. It’s just that
I’ve seen a number of writeups on Baden reds over the last few months…and I seldom see them on the shelves here in NM…so I thought I would
give this one a try…w/ high expectations. Alas…my high expectations were crushed on the shoals of a Kansas outhouse…in this case. I’ll try more as I
run across them. Maybe in Munich in a month.
Admittedly, Munich would seem like a much better hunting ground for German PN than New Mexico. Happy hunting and keep in mind that Baden is not the only place in Germany where they make good Spätburgunder, although Baden is more oriented towards PN than any other German wine district, Ahr excepted. So don’t hesitate to try those from other regions as well.
Well, Larry…I know Kansas outhouses very well. That’s all we had on my Grandparent’s farm. We didn’t have indoor plumbing in my
home in KansasCity until I was in the 6’th grade at NoblePrentis Grade School. When it comes to the smell of a Kansas outhouse
on a hot summer day…I’m as expert as you can get. It is, after all, all about terroir.
And the Utter’s goat pen was about 50’ from my bedroom window. Goats…I know well, too. I’ve some good stories there, too.
Hi Tom, thanks for the note. Joachim Heger is in fact a top-top producer in Baden/Kaiserstuhl but he has two labels: the negociant label Weinhaus Heger and the Domaine label Weingut Dr. Heger. He is struggling with lean wines and mediocre qpr at best in his Weinhaus labels, whereas the Dr. Heger wines, although all expensive are at the very top of German Pinot Noir! I will encourage you to pay the price for any of his GG’s (Grand Cru’s in Burgundy terms) and if you can find it: the 2012 Mimus Erste Lage (Premier Cru in Burgundy terms). Then you will get a better idea in my humble opinion.
Edit: btw, if $18,50 is retail after having been through the three tier system, this seems like an even cheaper wine, than I have tried. I have tried, in ascending price/quality, the following Pn’s from Weinhaus Heger: Sonnett, Merdinger Bühl, Oktav and Vitus. The Sonnett was the cheapest and really rather poor qpr. The rest decent enough as quality improved, but you have to like a lean Burgundy rather than a rich US-style. The Dr. Hegers have the best of both worlds and really not much to do with the Weinhaus bottlings.
Well, if Dr. Heger, Wienhaus Heger, and Joachim Heger are in at least some sense the same, then, contrary to what I said above, I am not completely unfamiliar with him/them after all. I shared a bottle of Dr. Heger, Spätburgunder trocken 2005 at a restaurant in Germany back in 2008. And although this is presumably the most basic Spätburgunder of Dr. Heger, I liked it very well and made a note saying that this is a producer whose wines we should seek out.
If it was indeed a Dr. Heger, then it sounds like a discontinued label, of lesser pedigree than his Erste and Grosse Lagen. But given the quality of Dr. Heger altogether, I believe that this has been a very good wine and probably nice qpr too.