The Huber winery is located in Malterdingen in the winegrowing region of Baden in the foothills of the Black Forest mountains in Germany’s deep south west. Pinot Noir has been cultivated in the village for well over 700 years, having been brought there from Burgundy by the Cistercian monks. About two-thirds of the 25 ha estate is given over to Pinot Noir, and from these vines Bernhard Huber made scintillating wines right up to his death from illness in June 2014. This gracious gentleman had taken pointers in the early days from his great friend Jacques Seysses at Domaine Dujac but never tried to make his Pinots taste like Burgundy, instead drawing on those ideas to express the sites around Malterdingen and surrounding villages.
Bright yellowish limestone par excellence. Schlossberg is considered the most concise vineyard in Breisgau and has been used for viticulture since 1492. It’s a steep slope on a gradient of up to 72% (in the Kapelleberg part up to 96%). It requires purely manual work and the mineral, skeleton-rich soil with bright yellowish limestone is geologically rare within the Black Forest foothills. The main orientation is south to south west. It's an absolutely top location for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Of the vineyard’s 50 hectares, Huber's holdings are 6 ha, of which 5.49 ha are classified as Grosses Gewächs. The 6- to 35-year- old vines are planted with a density 6,250-13,000 vines/ha. The yield here is 28 hl/ha. The steep slope makes for very intense sun radiation. The wines have great inner warmth and depth, a firm structure, pronounced minerality and strong fruit.
None of Huber’s Grosse Gewächse are short of fruit, but although the Schlossberg exhibits its fair fragrance of plums and blackberries, they merely act in support of a darker and deeper minerally expression. Shaved pencil, graphite and forest undergrowth represent a most intriguing and almost mysterious composition of aromas. On the palate the fruit of dark berries insists on its juicy ways, supported by fine spices, but then a cool stony notion takes command. Compact structure, full body and firm grip demand to be given time to agree on harmony. Rating: 18/20; Michael Schmidt - jancisrobinson.com
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