Sommelier's Choice

Discover the 2019 Hallau Chölle Pinot Noir with Niklas Grom

(Updated on: May 06, 2024)
<br/>A SPIEGELAU Definition Bordeaux glass filled with red wine and a SPIEGELAU Definition white wine glass filled with white wine on a table. In the background are the same filled wine glasses again.<br/>

Niklas Grom, managing director and sommelier of the restaurant "die burg" in Donaueschingen, recommends the 2019 Hallau Chölle, Pinot Noir, by Markus Ruch from Schaffhausen. As a passionate sommelier who has his roots in gastronomy, Niklas brings deep experience and a strong connection to wine. This Pinot Noir, rooted in the clay soils of Hallau, offers a complex aromatic palette with fruity notes and fine herbal aromas.

Markus Ruch's organically produced wines reflect the terroir of the Klettgau in Schaffhausen with minimal intervention in nature. The "Hallau Chölle" wine matures in used Burgundy casks and is bottled unfiltered, giving it an authentic and natural quality. A dish of ravioli and lamb bolognese is served in the "die burg" restaurant to complement and enhance the aromas of the wine.


The sommelier

Having grown up in the restaurant trade, Niklas knew early on where his journey would take him. After completing his hotel management training at the Hotel Öschberghof in Donaueschingen, his first stop was the La Vetta restaurant at the Tschuggen Grand Hotel in Arosa, Switzerland. He then moved on to the Park Hotel Vitznau on Lake Lucerne in Switzerland.

Here he was completely overcome by a passion for wine and decided to take a part-time distance learning course to become an IHK sommelier at the International Wine Institute in Ahrweiler. After the summer season in Vitznau, he worked for 1.5 years in the restaurant 13 Sinne with Cornelius Speinle near Schaffhausen. This was followed by a few months working at the Baumann winery in Oberhallau near Schaffhausen. During this time, he also passed his sommelier exam.

He has now been back home for over 5 years and runs the hotel and restaurant "die burg" in Aasen near Donaueschingen together with his brother.

The wine recommendation

2019 Hallau Chölle, Pinot Noir, Markus Ruch, Hallau, Schaffhausen, Switzerland

The winery

In Switzerland's northernmost wine-growing region, Klettgau near Schaffhausen, Markus Ruch has been producing top-quality organic wines since 2007. During his extensive years of training and traveling, the cross-trained winemaker gained experience in biodynamic viticulture with Derain in Burgundy and Christian Zündel in Ticino. Today, Markus Ruch's main aim is to find out what Klettgau, with its sometimes heavy, chalky clay soils, really tastes like. Ruch has great respect for nature, the vines and the wine, which he wants to bring into the bottle with as little intervention as possible. He uses very little sulphur and reduces the use of new wood to a minimum. Ruch's aim is to bring the typicality of the individual vineyards into the bottle as carefully and unadulterated as possible.

The wine

This Pinot Noir comes from a south-east facing vineyard in Hallau, which bears the name "Chälle". The vines, which are over 70 years old, are deeply rooted in heavy calcareous clay soil and only produce low yields. The grapes ferment with their wild yeasts for around a month in wooden vats. Depending on the vintage, the wine matures for 12-18 months in used 2281 Burgundy barrels and is bottled unfiltered.

In the glass, the Hallau Chölle presents itself in a light cloudy garnet red.

On the nose, it shows many complex fruit aromas, red currant, juicy black cherries, some wild raspberry and fine herbal nuances. Very fresh on the palate with an animating acidity that immediately whets the appetite for the next sip. The fruity aromas that dominate the nose are also confirmed on the palate, with the juicy black cherry in the foreground, flanked by notes of wild raspberry and redcurrant. The still very present, but fine and elegant tannin structure gives the wine an extraordinary length and pressure on the palate. A wine that is incredibly enjoyable in the cold season thanks to its powerful structure, but also goes wonderfully well with a BBQ on the terrace in summer.


The glass

What's the pairing?

For this wine, I chose a dish from our current menu which, just like the wine, impresses with its elegance, depth and strength.

We have ravioli filled with lamb bolognese, accompanied by glazed lamb sweetbreads, lovage, beans and radicchio. The wine's juicy fruit aromas complement the dark, spicy flavors of the lamb. The light herbaceous spiciness of the Pinot ties in with the basic aroma of the dish and the fine tannin rounds off the whole dish with structure. With this wine, we have a pairing that does not overpower the dish, but adds complexity and gives the whole a nice finish.

Photos: Niklas Grom, Sommelier-Union Deutschland e.V.

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