Drinkers of German Spätburgunder are surely family with Weingut Jean Stodden in Rech on the Ahr.
A few days ago, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung published a lovely profile of Alex Stodden. Alex has had primary responsibility for the winery since his father Gerd died suddenly of a heart attack five years ago in 2013. The winery was founded by Alex’s great-grandfather Alois and is named after his grandfather Jean.
Alex makes some of the finest Pinot Noirs in Germany (and it is often said that he makes the absolute finest German Pinots). They present intoxicating Pinot aromas and luscious fruit, but always in balance. They are refined and elegant. The best are age-worthy.
My personal favorites are those that Alex makes from the Herrenberg in Rech, a sundrenched parcel that faces south and east. Alex produces a variety of wines here at different price levels. His Recher Herrenberg Spätburgunder Grösses Gewächs could be the definition of a perfect Pinot, with a nose that is worth the price of admission alone, but is a delight on the palate as well. And for those who are not familiar with Frühburgunder (a early-ripening mutation of Pinot Noir), Stodden’s Recher Herrenberg Frühburgunder Grösses Gewächs offers an almost unbelievable nose, with spice and floral notes.
The FAZ article is a great tribute to Alex’s winemaking abilities, but also discusses the overall quality on the Ahr. I think the article’s assessment that the average quality on the Ahr is higher than anywhere in Germany is true. Admittedly, it is a very small wine-growing area, but the strides that have been made over the last 30-40 years are amazing. Climate chance has probably also helped a bit.
If you haven’t tried Weingut Jean Stodden’s wines (or any other wine from the Ahr)… you should!
See the article (Translated into English by Google. The translation isn’t great, but it will give you a sense.)