Monday, April 15, 2013

Enderle & Moll - Great German Pinot that Should be Imported to the US, but isn't Anymore.

This past weekend I held a small tasting for some parents at my younger daughter's school. It was something that I donated (with generous support from Chambers Street Wines and Slope Cellars). The theme was Pinot Noir from various parts of the world. We tasted some very good wines, including Champagne by Brigandat, a Chandon de Briailles wine, a Belle Pente wine, and others. All of the wines cost between $30-40. There were no duds in the tasting - everything was good. One wine, however, was head and shoulders above the rest in terms of quality - the 2009 Enderle & Moll Pinot Noir Buntsandstein.

Binner's 2009 Alsace Pinot Noir was all about fruit and while it was good drinking, it was not complex enough to hold my interest, nor did it distinguish itself in terms of terroir expression. I felt it would have been a better wine had the fruit been harvested earlier. Chandon de Briaille's 2010 Savigny-Les Beaune showed finesse, and a lovely balance of ripe fruit and subtle earth tones. Sandro Mosele's 2010 Pinot Noir Massale the Kooyong in southern Australia had interesting feral animal aromas but also felt a bit roasty to me. Belle Pente's 2010 Yamhill/Carlton Pinot Noir was very tasty and nicely balanced, but did not offer much in the way of complexity, which is understandable in a wine made from very young vines.

Enderle & Moll's wine was world class. It shows that perfect combination of light body, finesse, and pungent aroma and flavor, and a finish that feels tactile on the tongue, and really lingers. The aromas involve red and dark Pinot fruit, but also pine and other foresty smells, and the wine moves across the palate in that light, deft, and powerful way that comes with well tended old vines. The wine is delicious now but seems to me to have the kind balance and acidity that indicate good potential for improvement in the cellar.

Okay, so now you know that I really liked the wine. I wrote about another of Enderle & Moll's wines last year - I loved that one too. Dan Melia (or Dan Amelia, as my daughters call him - you can choose because he's fine with both) and Lars Carlberg, when they ran Mosel Wine Merchant, brought Enderle & Moll to the US. It's not like the wines sold like hotcakes, but red wine wasn't really the point of their portfolio. They sold enough, and there's hardly any wine anyway. When Mosel Wine Merchant was retired, its producers were snapped up lickety-split by some of the juggernauts of the New York wine sales landscape (Louis/Dressner, Grand Cru, vom Boden, and so on). No one is importing Enderle & Moll though, and I'm no wine economist, but I cannot imagine why this is.

The wines are cheaper than most villages level Burgundy and compare quite favorably with even the best villages level Burgundy. These are excellent and distinctive wines, and they happen to be farmed and made in a healthy way. I hope that one of you importers out there, or one of you enterprising wine store owners, sees the light on Enderle and Moll, and takes the wines in before Diageo grabs them.

Here is Lars Carlberg on Enderle & Moll.
Here is the Enderle & Moll website. It's in German, but you'll be able to see immediately that it's about wine.

I promise, I will be your first retail customer.

1 comment:

Lars Carlberg said...

Thanks for your article and shout-out.