Meyer-Näkel Spätburgunder Rosé 2021


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Werner Näkel took over his family's scant 1.5 hectare estate in 1982. With little in the way of formal training (he was destined to become a Math and Phys. Ed. teacher), he had the audacity to eschew the region's then popular large neutral foudre for Burgundy's small 228-litre barrels for Pinot noir production and set about producing dry wines in a region that had become known for tourist friendly warm, sweet Pinot noir. He would quickly become recognized as one of Germany's leading winemakers. His daughters, Meike and Dörte, however, would train at the best estates in Germany, Burgundy, Portugal, South Africa, and New Zealand before joining their father formally in 2005 and 2008, respectively.

No less bold, and perhaps even more heroic, when the region that normally receives approximately 80 liters per square meter of rainfall for the entire month of July received 148 liters per square meter in a single night, the sisters stayed back to try to save their family's winery. They ended up getting washed away, but miraculously clung to a tree together for seven hours until they were able to be rescued by boat. Like many, they lost everything. No barrels. No winemaking equipment. Whole vintages. Homes. Livelihoods. Gone. But, they were alive. With no water, no electricity, no internet, no phone, and with impassible bridges and roadways, the outlook in the immediate aftermath of the July 2021 flooding was bleak. Yet, twelve weeks later, winemakers found themselves in the middle of harvest. A complicated, strange harvest, but a harvest nonetheless. Roughly 50 of the Ahr's 560 or so hectares were lost in the flood, but what remained was a winemaking community that banded together, sharing resources both local and from kindred regions like Burgundy, to make the most of what some have called the most important vintage of their generation.

Um, yea. This is "just" a rosé.

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