Robert Parker Wine Advocate
Stephan Reinhardt, January 2019
Magnus 2016 - 94RP
Produced since 2013 and sourced from 30-year-old vines from a single-vineyard site named Stellibofel—the top site for Matthias and Sina Gubler and located 600 meters above sea level (which allows a long and slow ripening process)—the Grison 2016 Maienfeld Pinot Noir Magnus opens with a noble, very elegant and complex, still smoky/toasty but very deep and terroir-driven bouquet of fine and coolish red fruits (cherries) intermixed with still yeasty and musty notes and some crystalline aromas. Foot-trodden, vinified in a wooden fermentor with 60% of whole bunches before aging in small oak for 18 months, the wine is still young on the round and juicy, silky-textured yet tightly woven palate but very fine, pure and elegant as well. The tannins are highly delicate and the acidity is fresh and stimulating and perfectly interwoven with the fruit, full body and mineral energy of this Swiss picture-book Pinot. The complex and grippy finish is long, fresh and mouthwateringly salty and keeps the finesse and balance until the very end. This 2016 is doubtlessly a great Alpine red wine with volume, finesse and energy, and it will develop very well in the magnums into which the complete production was filled in the spring of 2018. Release date: September 2019. Don't miss it!
Tasted in January 2019. Drink date 2021 - 2034
PILGRIM 2016 - 93RP
For obscure reasons, I have missed the 2015, but here is the gorgeous 2016 Maienfeld Pinot Noir Pilgrim from the famous Grisons (Graubünden) appellation! The nose combines purity and precision with ripeness and intensity in a very elegant and refined way. Dark, wild berry aromas along with flinty notes on the deep nose lead to a full-bodied, dense and persistent palate with remarkably vivacious acidity and mineral tension. The tannins are present but fine and structuring, whereas the finish is powerful, complex and very long. This is a great Swiss Pinot Noir that will even improve over the years. If you don't like to wait that long, you should definitely aerate the wine for a couple of hours, two or three at least. Its whole bunch grip might taste a bit wild today, but with age (or enough air) this will smooth out and give nothing but stimulating freshness. Be patient!
CLOS MARTHA 2016 - 92RP
From a steep, south-facing single vineyard with 30-year-old vines in the AOC Basel-Landschaft, the 2016 Maisprach Pinot Noir Clos Martha offers a deep, dense and concentrated bouquet of ripe dark and red fruits intermixed with toasty and smoky terroir aromas, a result of the distinctive shallow Jurassic limestone soils. On the palate, this is a firmly structured and concentrated Pinot with remarkable grip and freshness. Its stimulating, still slightly astringent and clove-flavored finish is long and intense and makes this 2016 one of the finest Pinots from the Eastern, German-speaking part of Switzerland. I don't know any other red wine from Basel that could compete with it in terms of style and quality.
Tasted in January 2019. Drink date 2020-2028
HUBEL 2016 - 90RP
From the AOC Basel-Landschaft and 50+-year-old vines on Jurassic limestone soils, the cherry colored 2016 Maisprach Pinot Noir Hubel indicates deep, ripe yet fresh and precise fruit of black berries, cherries and a hint of licorice intertwined with the purity of crushed stones, smoke, spices and toasted oak. Dense and intense on the silky-textured palate, this full-bodied red shows ripe and juicy fruit, fine tannins and a wonderfully dry and stimulating astringent finish with tightness and good length.
Tasted January 2019. Drink date 2019-2026
GRAF 2016 - 88 RP
The 2016 Maisprach Pinot Noir Graf is a firstling sourced from small, steep, south-facing 40- and 50-year-old parcels of the single-vineyard "Röti" in the upper Basel area that is roughly 400 meters above sea level and gets its name from the dark red, almost purple Buntsandstein (colored sandstone) soils. The vines are cultivated by Heini and Barbara Graf, whose family name on the label guarantees the high quality of the grapes which are processed (with 25% whole bunches and in a wooden fermentor) in the Gubler domaine in Maienfeld, Grisons. Aged for one year in French pièces, the wine displays a transparent red color and opens with a delicate, fresh and elegant bouquet of cherries, red currant and strawberries. On the palate, this is a medium-bodied but intense and juicy Pinot with remarkable finesse and freshness. It is rather lean, silky textured and wonderfully fruity, but in a subtle way, it is also concentrated and structured by very fine tannins and animating acidity. The finish shows red cherries and just-ripe blackberries, again along with some toasty/spicy flavors and the characteristic freshness. 13% alcohol. This should be a great wine with cooked or even stewed meat.