October 08, 2008

Dr. Loosen & J. Christopher Two Worlds Pinot Noir, $16

Decent domestic pinot noir for $16 a bottle is hard to come by—which is why 90 percent of this terrific pinot comes from Germany. That country may be best known for its rieslings, but the Pfalz, one of Germany's warmer growing regions, turns out some excellent pinot noir—or Spätburgunder (pronounced shpate-bur-gunder), as it's called there. To make Two Worlds, Ernst Loosen, of the Dr. Loosen winery in the Mosel and the J.L. Wolf estate in the Pfalz, gathered the German juice from his neighbors and shipped it to Jay Somers of J. Christopher in Oregon. Together, Loosen and Somers blended the Pfalz wine with some Oregon pinot to create a wine that has the frisky brightness of German fruit with bass notes of Oregon's darker, richer pinot. The combination is addictive—light enough to drink easily on its own yet with enough spicy cherry flavor and lively acidity to power through lamb chops. Two Worlds is actually just the warm-up for the duo's main act, a very limited run of a 2005 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir called Appassionata they'll release in the near future, but at $16, Two Worlds may be the more exciting wine.

Loosen Bros LTD, Oregon City, OR

This review first appeared in the Denver Post.

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