We've been dealing with Gerd Stepp for three years now, and have always loved the style of his wines with their delicious freshness, purity and balance. Up to now though, they've not reached the full audience they deserve, and some of that is our fault. Because we've never bought huge volumes, the price has always been a bit more than it would be buying ex cellars. The long and the short of where I'm going with this is that we are now buying directly from the vineyard in Germany, and the price has come down significantly - for instance, the previous vintage of this Pinot Noir was sold at £17 per bottle, the current vintage £14. It's wasn't us profiteering, it's just the economics of what you can save when you buy larger volumes and ship directly - and it's to your benefit.
So, what's the wine like then? Bloody good! German Pinot Noir is massively under-rated and this knocks the socks off anything you'd buy from Burgundy at the same price. A fresh berry and cherry scented nose with hints of soft spice lead you in to a precise, pure fruited palate of black cherries and raspberries with notes of clove, toast and an attractive earthiness. It's perfectly balanced and harmonious, with the hint of oak correctly judged, good acidity and fine tannins. The length of flavour is excellent and, whilst not something you'd keep for 10 years, this would develop those savoury Pinot notes well over the next 3-5 years. Now the price is sub £15, it makes this something of a bargain.
SC Rating - OUTSTANDING / EXCEPTIONAL (Mike)