Hans-Bert Espe and Silke Wolf farm roughly 5ha in the not-so-famous region of Baden. Let’s go ahead and equate not-so-famous with not-so-ripe and we get, immediately, a sense of the philosophy here. There are lots of words we would use to describe the bulldozer-Pinots we’ve tasted from Baden over the years; delicacy would not be one of them. Until we tasted with Hans-Bert and Silke. This husband-and-wife team has spent the last decade in the nooks and crannies of the wine-geek world, slowly building a reputation for pristine, delicate Pinot Noirs from Baden (there, we’ve used the word). You might call them understated, though the rather petite structure and lively animation of the wines gives way to a mid-palate that is awash with sweet perfumed fruit, transparent and mineral. In style, sensibility and size, they remind us quite a bit of Weiser-Künstler in the Mosel (indeed they are all friends) – except this is Pinot Noir, from Baden. You may have to remind yourself of this when you’re tasting the wines.

WINES

Pinot Noir “Lovely Lilly”

Shelter's delicate Pinot Noirs show an uncommone fine-ness. The "Lovely Lilly," their entry bottling, shows great dark berry fruits, a richness that is enlivened by a refreshing mineral core and a delicate edging of smoke and sage. Will impress fans of Oregon Pinot Noir as well as those who prefer richer Burgundies.