- Pinot Noir
- 2023 - 2035
- Case size
- Available Later
Goedhuis, August 2022
Centgrafenberg is the Fürst’s coolest GG (grand cru) site and sits just above the family home. While the plot does have plenty of the rich red soil so typical of this area in Franken, it is much rockier. First sniff offers up a wealth of bitter dark cherries, sweet strawberries, black pepper, smoke and minerals. The mouth-watering fruit wraps itself around the central spine of acidity in the most fantastic way. So finely wrought and just beautiful.
The village of Bürgstadt in Franken, just east of Frankfurt, is one of Germany’s longest-standing Pinot Noir enclaves. The magnificent south-facing Centgrafenberg vineyard with its iron-rich decomposed red sandstone is very rare and one of Germany’s greatest sites. Here, Pinot Noir can bathe in the warm summer sun, yet retain tension and acidity from the region’s temperate climate. Father Paul Fürst has gradually passed on the winemaking responsibilities to his son Sebastian who works the vineyards by hand, concentrating every effort on producing wines of precision and fragrant appeal from low yields. Sebastian trained in Burgundy, at Domaine de l’Arlot, so it’s perhaps no surprise that they work a lot with whole cluster, 100% for the single vineyard wines and up to 25% for the estate wines. Their wines have a distinctive clarity, nimble weight, pure red fruit notes, and silky but firm tannin structure. During our last visit, Paul opened a bottle of 2001 Fruhburgunder Centgrafenberg, which was perfectly fresh, showing the immense ease with which these beautiful wines age.
This region in central Germany is mainly planted with white varieties. However, the small proportion of Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) plantings – only 20% of the vineyard area – mean it is emerging as Germany’s premium red wine producing region, thanks especially to growers like Paul Fürst, whose crystalline, pure wines are leading the way. Growers are planting with Dijon clones, which produce silky, precise wines. The cru system here (Grosse Gewäch = Grand Cru) will reward any Pinot lover looking for exemplary quality beyond Burgundy.