Mario Burk027hart is very much what you could call a “boutique winemaker”. Not that he works in a boutique – that would be silly – but the quantities he produces are so small that they would be similar to the output of your average boutique; just substitute perfume bottles for wine bottles (ok, that’s an exaggeration). His vineyards are in and around Malterdingen – one of the world’s Pinot Noir sweetspots, and also home to the winery of the legendary, late Bernhard Huber.

I’d read years ago in the Gault Millau wine guide that Herr Burkhart’s top red and white (called Rarus Noir and Rarus Blanc respectively) were “quite ambitiously priced”. I wonder whether he was a bit miffed by that comment, as he hasn’t featured in the Gault Millau since then.

Be that as it may, I was keen to try this, his entry-level red.

Mario J. Burkhart, Pinot Noir 2011, Baden
An intriguing sort of amber ruby. Red fruits galore on the nose, along with sappy mouthwatering stemmy notes and a hint of mushroomy undergrowth. For a wine costing just under 10 euros, this is extremely promising. Again, red and stemmy on the palate, with smooth, dense strawberry/raspberry fruit (take your pick) and fresh acidity. Without getting into detail (my notes were scant because I have to admit I destroyed the bottle in no time) … what attracts me to this wine is its oldy worldy elegance, finesse and considerable complexity. So drinkable.


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