The wines of Jürgen Von der Mark are to be honest amongst my new favourites – as wines for pure enjoyment and pleasure.
Germany is a bit outside my home turf … but an old passion and pleasure of mine, and I really has taken a new and somewhat different interest to German wines – since I started to rediscover the wines and taking in the dry wines of both Rhinegau and in this instance Baden.
My old passion for sweet Mosel wines persist – yet the higher sweetness coming with global warming do sort of limit my actual consumption of these wines.
But it appear to have given me the desire to taste other German wines – and one is Jürgen Von der Mark – who makes wines in Baden almost on the border to France.
Pinot Noir, Spätburgunder, red and rosé
Jürgen Von der Mark has a special gift or talent if you like – he makes very vivid and drinkable red wines and rosés (yes I admit the vice of drinking German rosé from Von der Mark) – often and gladly and for pure pleasure alone.
The Von der Mark talent is to make extremely drinkable wines – at least according to my palate – wines with a lovely vivacity and energy – that bring them to my table often and with considerable enjoyment.
The reds and rosés from Von der Mark comes in different levels mostly either very affordable or quite affordable – depending on the quality and complexity.
Visiting Jürgen Von de Mark
On my February trip to Burgundy I finally had the pleasure of visiting and meeting Jürgen Von de Mark, and to taste a larger selection of his wines.
Jürgen is located in the village of Bad Bellingen, Baden-Württemberg just near the border to France .. quite near to Mulhouse on the way to Burgundy – in more than one sense.
He is a man of passion and energy .. impulsive .. yet also with a quite analytical stance .. with a background as both oenologist and being Master of Wine (yes MW).
He makes both red and white wines, and while I do enjoy both, the reds and the rosés are my passion to be honest – and this where he has a quite unique talent in my view.
To be precise the talent is to make wines with tremendous drinkability – wines that are vivid, light footed and enjoyable, without being trivial, having a complexity that at any level that will make them interesting to drink.
The top pinots do have more complexity, yet the basic rosé has the same inherent quality … the same drinkability and vivid energy … the same dynamic energy that becomes visible when you meet Jürgen Von de Mark in person.
The entry level wines ..
As mentioned Jürgen produce different levels of wines … the entry level, the “Selectionsweine” and the “Liedsweine”, the latter being top quality from own vineyards.
The entry level encompass both a very vivid and enjoyable rosé – wine of the house chez Winehog currently – just a very enjoyable glass with a clear expression of pinot noir (Spätburgunder).
The red wine has the same character and impression – not too much complexity – but still a lovely expression of pinot noir – and even a bit of terroir display in the form of a discrete mineral note. These are clearly light footed but still with sufficient complexity to make them interesting.
I really recommend you try these wines – if you like light and vivid wines – as the are quite affordable to be honest.
In this category we find the “Spätburgunder Ehretstein” .. more depth, a bit more cask, and character. A step up for sure, and a lovely place to be – maintaining the light-footedness.
“Spätburgunder Ehretstein” need some time in the glass to unfold – but after an hour it’s lovely.
The “Liedweine” – The Baden and the Dijon
The top wines from Von der Mark are the “Liedweines” .. the single vineyard pinot noirs.
Von der Mark works/worked with different clones – local Baden clones and also wines made from a Dijon clone – imported from Burgundy. From 2016 will be the last year of the Baden clone, as the plot of old Baden clones has now been uprooted.
The reason was that making the wines separately always made if possible to compare the Baden and the Dijon clones – but in reality the Dijon clones almost always came out the winner – being more vivid and energetic than the wines from the older Baden clones.
This will not be possible in the future – but until 2016 there will be a possibility to taste both clones at Von der Mark.
We tasted several vintages of the top wines ..
In 2016 we had the Pinot Noir “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” from the Baden clone, and then the Pinot Noir “I took a pill in Ibiza” from the Dijon clone. Jürgen Von der Mark like to give names to his cuvées … I’m sure there is an inner logic in the names – but it has so far eluded me – although its something to do with music.
This tasting clearly confirmed the higher energy and vivacity of the Dijon clone – although the Baden clone produced excellent wines from the older vines in this plot.
2016 was a difficult year, and the relatively low yields has produced some delightful and concentrated wines with very fine depth. Lovely pinot notes in both wines with forest berries – raspberries and hints of boysenberries and red-currant.
The 2015s – only one wine – the Pinot Noir “Suis-je gentille ainssi” – a tremendous cuvée made from both clones. A rich and very expressive wine .. a big wine – yet still sort of light-footed and very refined. A gorgeous wine with a tremendous lively energy – vinification done without SO2 (bottling with).
In 2014 we had the Pinot Noir “Out in the Fields” (Baden clone) and the “Thunderstruck” made from the Dijon clone … again a more vivid character of the “Dijon” wine. Perhaps more classic than the 2015s with a lovely Burgundian feel – elegant likunee the Burgundian 2014s.
We also tasted the Pinot Noir 2012 “Feel” and the 2008 “Village” … very interesting to taste the older wines. Especially the 2008 showed very well indeed with matured notes of sous-bois and a true Burgundian complexity – keeping very well indeed.
Very impressed by the two older Cuvées, although the Dijon clone is the best in the end … and as the vines age … this difference would most likely increase, hence also sort of loose the purpose of comparing with the Barden clone.
I was very surprised with the complexity of the 2008, and really liked the way the wines age – the oak gets very well integrated and it develops true mature pinot maturity.
The Jürgen Von de Mark wines really show well, and I know the lesser wines very well – as I enjoy them quite often.
I am also impressed by the bigger wines and the reflection and effort Jürgen put into these wines …. they are refined and light-footed … thus often quite far from other German reds.
Love these wines for the pleasure – I don’t see them as Burgundies as such – but I enjoy them all the same, with the light-footed expression,