Jochen Dreissigacker has caused a considerable stir both in his native Germany and abroad, winning high praise and points wherever his wines are sold. His 21 hectares of vineyards are based in the Rheinhessen which is currently undergoing what might be termed a 'Rheinhessen revival' with Jochen at its forefront. From the 2010 vintage, Jochen's wines all have organic certification and he also uses Biodynamic methods for much of his estate (although has chosen not to be certified). He reduced the yields in the vineyard and identified the best parcels of vines in order to vinify each separately. As expected of an organic estate, his approach in the cellar is as natural as possible, using only wild yeasts to ferment the must and harvesting only fully ripe grapes (rather than chaptalising, or adding 'süss-reserve' to sweeten the wines after vinification for the Auslese styles).
Jochen's approach in the winery is simple: to intervene as little as possible. Low yields and careful selection in the vineyard ensures excellent fruit and therefore wine. Wunderwerk translated means 'wonder piece'. Jochen named this wine Wunderwerk because the complexity achieved from relatively young vines (5-10 years old) is a wonder as he usually expects this level of complexity from his older vines.
Due to warm, damp weather, the 2014 vintage was a challenging one. Budburst started in early April during a warm, dry start to spring. The flowering period was slightly earlier than usual, with great weather facilitating a good fruit set. An overabundance of rain in July and August (three times the normal amount in some areas) resulted in prolific growth in the vineyards, requiring a lot of canopy management. Despite all the wet weather, the grapes stayed healthy and achieved good must weights. A perfect start to September took an unexpected turn right before harvest, and rain forced fast picking to ensure the grapes were in by the first week in October. Quantity was on a par with the ten-year average and quality was very good, thanks to attention to detail and hard work in the vineyards.
The grapes are hand picked and de-stemmed. Fermentation takes place in large oak barrels and after a short period of cold maceration to extract aroma. The wine is then aged in French and Austrian barrels (1/3 new and 2/3 used) for two years on its fine lees to give it structure. During its time on lees, the wines are in a reductive environment so Jochen is able to work the wine using less sulphur dioxide, in line with his organic ethos.
100% Pinot Noir.
This wine is ruby red in colour. Bright and attractive on the nose, this Pinot Noir has abundant cherry, strawberry and dark aromas with hints of spices and cedar. The palate is well-balanced and soft with great structure and elegance.
ABV = 12.5%.