|Producer||Enderle & Moll|
Enderle & Moll is really just two guys, a tiny cellar, a few hectares of old vines, and a hell of a lot of buzz – even Jancis Robinson has called them “cult". Sven Enderle and Florian Moll farm a total of 2.1ha on the western fringe of the Black Forest. Most of their Pinot comes from two sites: one with 25-45 year-old vines planted in colored sandstone (Buntsandstein), and one other miniscule plot (0.045ha total) from four tiny terraces, home to 60 year-old vines (the oldest in the region) planted in shell limestone (Muschelkalk). All work in the vineyard is done by hand, yields are low, and vineyard work is organic/biodynamic. Walking through the vineyard, it is easy to see where the Enderle & Moll plots begin and end, so clear is the vitality of their vines and soil. Sven and Florian are hands-off in the cellar and it shows in the wines. Parcels are vinified separately, with one-third whole clusters. Grapes are crushed in an old wooden basket press and then go into secondhand Burgundian barrels (mostly from Domaine Dujac). Bottling, like everything else, is done by hand, and there is no fining or filtration. Because they don’t care for the quality criteria for Pinots in Baden, they’ve decided to declassify their Pinot Noir as a Tafelwein, which legally disallows them from putting vineyard names on the label. Florian thinks it foolish to automatically equate higher ripeness levels with better quality and that doing so often leads to overripe, high-alcohol wines with lots of extract and a shortage of acidity and delicacy. These are delicious Pinots (to say nothing of their Müller-Thurgau, which is likely the best version of that grape you will ever taste) of enormous integrity, made with undeniable passion and point of view. Also, Sven Enderle has the best facial hair in the wine business with the possible exception of Jo Landron. Silly-limited production.
Wine Notes: This wine is a knock-out: dark, sexy and so layered and complex. This wine is deep; we’re talking Mariana Trench deep. I don’t know how else to describe it. The nose goes from strawberry and raspberry all the way to dark, earthy crushed berry and cassis; this is an example of a wine with just superb density and definition. The glycerin-rich fruit coats the herbal, kitchen spice aromatics that the whole range flaunts, yet here it is better integrated than in almost any bottle other than the Grand Cru “Muschelkalk.” The palate is wound up, coiled up, taut and angry. The relative generosity and depth of the nose is turned inward here, showing phenolics and minerality and super-fine tannins. Fun to drink now with food, this is going to develop into perhaps one of the best Liasons from Enderle & Moll. Try and be patient; if drinking young, decant.
“Liason” is something like the “1er Cru” bottling for Enderle & Moll. It is sourced from 40-50-year-old vines planted both in limestone and sandstone; a “liaison” of soil types if you will. It is always one of the most compelling Pinots out there, an absurd value that easily out-classes wines that are twice the price.
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