From Benedikt Baltes we already had Portugieser in the glass, and back then already noted that this is actually quite an outlier in the field of his wines. So it was clear at that time that we absolutely need one of his various Pinot Noir on the blog. The bottle today still comes from his former winery in Klingenberg in Churfranken. We are drinking a Ortswein from Klingenberg for which the grapes were harvested in 2016. I had already mentioned while tasting the last bottles Handwerk before the further development in the direction of Bertram-Baltes, that he no longer makes wine there, has sold the winery, and now works on the Ahr together with Julia Bertram. But even if this bottle or more precisely this wine in this site-winemaker combination will no longer be bottled this way, both the site and the winemaker continue to exist and you can still buy the wine. Benedikt Baltes is gentle with nature, the vines are largely in steep terraces overlooking the Main, the grapes are harvested by hand, aged in wood and then bottled without filtration or fining. Coming from 2016, the wine is still quite young, which is one reason why it is tasted over three evenings this time. I find that this gives a nicer picture of the evolution in the glass, but also of the future potential.
And the wine immediately confirms this assumption. It starts quite reserved and closed. Cellar cold, right after pulling the cork there is almost nothing coming out of the glass. Light soil and an idea of cherry are all I smell. With temperature, however, it gets going. In the mouth, the wine is quite dense, has a nice freshness and spiciness. There is definitely noticeable tannin to go along with it. But also on the tongue, you get the feeling that the wine is not quite there yet. As I said, the wine confirms that the three targeted evenings for tasting are a pretty good idea.
Then with one more night it feels much more open, much fuller on the nose. The basic idea in aroma with cherry and soil remains, but firstly, it has become much more intense and secondly, there is more there now. There are notes of menthol, somehow also floral in the aroma. On the palate it is more edgy, with more profile and more pull on the cheeks. It has clearly gained length and depth. With even more air and especially temperature, it gets softer and softer, a bit warmer in aromatics and even more complex.
Another day later there are balsamic notes on the nose, some chocolate and also the cherry. The floral note has disappeared again and the earthiness has moved very gently into the background. The tannin has become more velvety, more charming and much, much softer than on the first two evenings. However, it still has edge and freshness and would be guaranteed to do well for three more evenings in the glass. I’m just not quite sure how that is supposed to work out. Magnum bottle, perhaps. Better double magnum. Or alternatively cut the amount for the better half. All no longer possible, so the bottle is now empty and we are very happy.