Der kleine Fritz (“Little Fritz”), that’s what the Friedrich Becker winery from the Palatinate on the border to Alsace calls its Pinot Noir, which it produces exclusively for the discounter Lidl in Germany. A red wine from the supermarket, even from a discounter? Is that possible? After listening to a recent interview with Friedrich Becker, I became interested and thought, why don’t I try the little Fritz? After all, Friedrich Becker is one of the Pinot specialists in Germany and as far as sales at discounters are concerned, the winery is in good company, for example Markus Molitor and Van Volxem also make wines for Lidl. (I’ll be tasting these soon, of course).
The colour is a transparent violet. Thick streaks in the glass. Fresh and cool on the nose. Plenty of wild berries. All in all a nice fresh fruity scent! In the mouth a rather thin body with slender tannins. The wine is probably matured in stainless steel tanks, which is of course also supported by the production volume. Very accessible, slightly astringent. Fresh on the palate with an acidic red fruit, slightly bitter. The taste is pleasant, but not long lasting. Der kleine Fritz is a rock-solid Pinot Noir and a surprisingly good wine for a purchase from a discounter. I plan to try it blind in the future against somewhat higher-priced red wines from the wine trade.
Drink through 2024.
Tasted by Dominik Müller on Friday, 4 August 2023.
85Wines that have a DM84 to DM86 rating are average on a fine wine level. That means the wines have been produced well, they have no apparent flaws or big imbalances that would put me off. On the other hand, they lack features that make them stand out in a positive way, such as a complex flavour profile or a very elegant tannin structure. Put differently, if offered a glass, I will gladly drink it. I might even have another one. Would I buy a bottle from this category for my own cellar? I might, yes. For example, wines with a DM84 to DM86 rating are usually not too demanding, so they can be a good fit for guests who are beginners to fine wine or very casual drinkers. In the WSET world, wines with a DM85 rating tend to be at the lower end of a 1.5 WSET score./ 100
1.5Wines with a 1.5 WSET rating are in between 'average' and 'good' in the WSET scoring system, where we consider balance (B), intensity (I), length (L) and complexity (C). In terms of my personal rating system, wines with a WSET score of 1.5 usually get around 85 to 86 DM points./ 4.0
4Wines with a rating of 4 stars are excellent wines in their category. They are almost at the top of their peer group in terms of quality./ 5
Jasper Morris of InsideBurgundy.com inspired me to use his 'Five Star Scale' in my tasting notes, too. The limitation of the standard 100-point scale is that in certain appellation hierarchies, such as Burgundy village versus premier cru, the lower-end wines will typically score less than the wines higher up the hierarchy. The five star scale therefore wants to compare a wine to its peers from the same category. It allows for very well-made wines to stand out.
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