single vineyard, 7-day maceration, élevage in old barrique
The brothers Brand, Daniel and Jonas, have quickly brought attention to the far northern Pfalz, this cool-climate, limestone-rich, yet otherwise overlooked region. I would say the brothers (along with Andreas Durst) have redefined this place, but that presupposes the place has actually been defined, which is a stretch. The “famous” Pfalz, the Mittelhaardt region, is a good 45-minutes south. Here, however, in the north, in the Brand brother’s village of Bockenheim, well, things are a bit quieter; the historic and gilded estates of the south, with their tended gardens and bustling tourism, give way to a quieter, more gritty, working agricultural feel in the north. For the Brand’s wines, well, first there are the liters – these are the wines that immediately made both John and I look at each other with eyebrows a-raised, sharing that look of delight when something stands apart because of its internal, brightness, purity and zzziiiinnnnng. They still fascinate and delight; there are few better deals in wine. In the years since, the Brand brothers have quietly experimented more and more with 0-sulfur winemaking. The Pet-Nats are riveting, ultra-light testaments to what this region is capable of; in the already-saturated world of Pet-Nat, they have a dedicated following and disappear quickly. The rather long and eccentric list of 0-sulfur “Pur” wines that the brothers released beginning with vintage 2016 reflect a lot of experimenting, both in the vineyards and in the cellars. They are the beginning of what is likely to be a grand story of natural wines in the north.