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Fitz-Ritter, Pinot NoirPfalz, Germany 2019 (750mL)

From the Wine Shop

Fitz-Ritter, Pinot Noir Pfalz, Germany 2019 (750mL)

“We’ll say it again, loudly for the people in the back: German Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) may be the most underappreciated category in the wine world.”

Thirty bucks doesn’t typically get you all the regal history represented by Fitz-Ritter’s Spätburgunder. Put simply, the Fitz family is one of the most important in Germany’s winemaking history. In 1837, Johannes Fitz—freshly returned from exile in Champagne thanks to his advocating for democracy in the Palatinate—opened the second sparkling wine house in the entire country. It was the first to strictly employ the Champagne method. Over 100 years ago, the Fitz’s were one of the founding families of the Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter (VDP), Germany’s association of top producers. And the very land the winery sits on is chock full of agricultural history, sporting 400-year-old oak trees and the oldest ginkgo tree in the entire country.

The Pfalz, the southernmost of Germany’s five most important winegrowing regions, is distinct from the rest both climatically and historically. It’s warmer and  less vertiginously mountainous than the Nahe or Mosel to the north, and its soils are generally less slate-based and more fertile. Perfect, then, for the Burgundian varieties that have a firmer foothold here than anywhere else in Germany. Spätburgunder, Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc), and Grauburgunder are certainly found elsewhere. But in the Pfalz they’re not merely supporting players, they’re limelight-sharing costars. In these warmer climes, they present as more open and charming, though no less serious. Great Pfalz Spätburgunder, as Fitz-Ritter’s certainly is, combines the ample fruit of the Willamette with the rigorous structure of Burgundy, offering more pure Pinot pleasure than anyone could ask for at this price. 

Fitz-Ritter’s 2019 Spätburgunder, served with a slight chill in Burgundy stems, pours a lucid ruby with crimson highlights.Fresh crushed raspberry, black cherry, blackberry, wild strawberry, toasty tobacco, cinnamon, underbrush, mushrooms, and turned earth aromas jump out of the glass. Texturally, it’s wide open and lush, offering up more brilliant bright red fruits, before snapping to a finish with a wick of electric acidity and barely-there, mouth-coating tannin. Juicy, refreshing, deeply pleasurable, and yet wildly complex, it’s top notch Pinot regardless of where it comes from. I promise, it’ll make you want to dig deeper on German Spätburgunder, because there’s nothing else quite like it. Soon, you’ll be beating the drum for German Pinot too!

  • CountryGermany
  • RegionPfalz
  • SoilSandy Loam
  • FarmingOrganic
  • BlendPinot Noir
  • Alcohol13%
  • OakUsed & New Barrels
  • Temp.Serve at 60° F
  • GlasswareBurgundy Stems
  • DrinkingNow-2025
  • DecantingOptional
  • PairingBraised Duck Legs w/ Spaetzle & Mushroom Ragout

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