Built in the middle of the 18th Century, J L Wolf quickly built itself a reputation for high quality wine and managed to maintain this until a lack of direction saw it dwindle towards the end of last century. The potential to return to former glories was always there and Ernie Loosen (of Dr Loosen fame) stepped in in 1996 to revamp it. One of the draws was the fact that they had the ability to produce quite powerful Riesling which sits in contrast to the more delicate flavours he traditionally produces at his own winery on the banks of the Mosel. Interestingly, and significantly given the wines I’ve chosen for your wine club packs, it also enabled him to play around with different grape varieties as the Pfalz has a more eclectic mix than other parts of Germany.
Both the Pinot Gris and the Pinot Noir are brilliant examples of the variation Germany is capable of and I just love them. All the wines in the range have this feel to them and I’d encourage you to try more if you get the chance. There is even a Rosé made from Pinot Noir in the shop at the moment, and the quality is unbelievable, so give it a go!
Another interesting point worth making is the labelling of the Villa Wolf wines. They focus upon being straight to the point and avoid having long, unpronounceable names as can be the case with traditional German labelling. This was the subject of a fiercely contested debate between some of the wine merchants I met whilst in Germany. Anyone who has been through any kind of education with regard to wine will know how complicated German labelling can be. However, once you understand it you realise that it is necessary and instructive. Some believe German wines continue to struggle in the UK because of the traditional labelling system, others will say it is all part of the experience. I‘ll let you decide which you think is best, but I will say this: don’t be put off by the labels, come to the shop and either Don or myself will be only too happy to go through it with you and find one that will suit your palate.