Villa Wolf Pinot Gris 2020
The Villa Wolf Pinot Gris is relatively full-bodied, compared to Italian Pinot Grigio. It is off dry on the palate but with ripe, refreshing fruit (flavours of spicy Conference pear with an undertone of clementine and just the faintest hint of peppery rocket on the finish) and it is unoaked to maximise the vibrant flavours. Ernie Loosen describes the wine as having a 'crackling' texture: his English is excellent but he spends a lot of time in the USA so this may well be a translation issue from Californian slang! JOK 23/11/2020
In Germany this wine used to be sold as Grauburgunder (literally Grey Burgundy) and it is a sign of the determination to simplify the complicated German nomenclature that such wines are now more familiarly labelled. Pinot Gris has a very long tradition in the Pfalz region. In fact, it was here that the variety was first identified.
The winery was founded in 1756 by the then mayor, Johann Wolf, who bought some of the best vineyard parcels above the villages of Wachenheim, Forst and Deidesheim. In 1828 the King of Bavaria commissioned a cartographer to produce a map showing the taxable value of every slope in the area. The J L Wolf holdings still include five grand cru and four premier cru vineyards. The 10 hectare estate was turned into a model farm, designed by Eisenlohr, in 1843. It boasted a unique country villa, a courtyard with mature trees, a formal garden and magnificent vaulted cellars. The estate had fallen into complete disrepair (the legacy of labour shortages following the wars) by the time that Ernie Loosen found the original plans of the vineyards and, upon visiting the site, literally stumbled into top class vineyards. He has revitalised the vines, turning the estate into a 'green' enterprise in the process, and it now produces superb grapes.
Ernst is more famous as the owner of the Dr Loosen Estate in Bernkastel on the Mosel and has been voted Gault-Millau "Winemaker of the Year 2001" amongst the many international plaudits that he has gathered.
Asian Food, Salmon, Aperitif