What an exclusive evening! The unveiling of WongAmat’s Second Vintage of German Pinot Noir offered not only exquisite wines among warm company but also a culinary journey curated by Kerstin and Max from Irori Restaurant. What a pure joy that they recently were awarded there first Michelin star.

Max Kaindl, 8. April 2024
Reading time about 8 minutes

WongAmat 2022:
The Success Story Continues

Occasionally, life presents those moments that make the wine-lover’s heart leap with joy. The invitation from Jan Raumland to his preview of the second vintage of WongAmat and its German Pinot Noir was one of those rare occasions. It was an evening I simply couldn’t afford to miss. For those fortunate enough to experience the hospitality of Jan and the Raumland family, they’ll be enchanted by the generous hospitality of this warm-hearted family.

At the end of March, the moment finally arrived. Together with a small select group of wine enthusiasts and merchants, we gathered at Raumlands’ in the tranquil village of Flörsheim-Dalsheim, nestled in the rolling hills of Rheinhessen.

On the way there, many questions flooded my mind, but one in particular stood out: How will Jan’s second red wine vintage show itself in the bottle? But first things first.

As befits Germany’s leading sparkling wine house, we were greeted with a seductively enticing 2015 vintage rosé sparkling wine – served from a magnum bottle. The wine immediately broke the ice, and the evening quickly gained momentum. It wasn’t just light-hearted conversations that ensued, but also wonderfully profound discussions. When Jan extends an invitation, one always has the opportunity to meet fascinating new people.

But enough with the praise for the host. Let’s turn our attention to the true star of the evening: WongAmat Vintage 2022 German Pinot Noir.

The story behind WongAmat

WongAmat, inspired by Jan Raumland’s Thai family, Wongse Amatyakul, signifies not just a name but a legacy of craftsmanship and cultural significance. This legacy has been nurtured by the family for generations in Thailand and beyond. Following winemaking training, subsequent studies in Geisenheim, and many years of wine exploration (not least at his current wife Katharina Raumland’s sparkling wine estate), Jan has fulfilled his long-held dream: “To bottle his very own wine.”

Jan began with tiny quantities in 2019, which he exclusively shared with friends and acquaintances. After H.O. Spanier from the renowned Battenfeld-Spanier winery granted him a parcel in the Rosengarten vineyard in Kriegsheim, the number of bottled wines became substantial enough. Thus, the WongAmat project commenced in 2021 with two Pinot Noirs: one from Dalsheimer Bürgel – the flagship vineyard of the Raumlands – and one from the aforementioned Kriegsheimer Rosengarten.

The hype surrounding Jan’s wines was so immense in the first year that I couldn’t secure a single bottles of the 2021 vintage in time. However, I had the opportunity to taste both red wines on the sidelines of last year’s VDP Wine Fair. The impressions were promising: juicy red fruit characterized by a delicate structure and plenty of freshness, all carried by remarkable lightness. If I recall correctly, the wines were still lacking the final tension and depth at that time. However, this might have also been due to the particularly challenging vintage for German red wines.

Time for Tasting: German Pinot Noir and beyond

During a visit last summer, I had the pleasure of tasting some barrel samples of the vintage 2022 Pinot Noirs. The quality impressed me greatly at that time, which is why I approached the evening with some prior knowledge and corresponding expectations.

Below, you’ll find my tasting notes for the 2022 wines, as well as a brief description of the vineyard and the cellar aging process.

Sidenote: As the evening was more about savoring wine and engaging in good conversation, I didn’t make detailed, technical tasting notes. Rather, these are initial impressions.

Flight 1

Dalsheimer Bürgel Spätburgunder 2022
On the nose, dark spices, accompanied by notes of sweet licorice and subtle red fruit. There’s a pronounced freshness and coolness, with a hint of reduction adding complexity.
On the palate, it offers a gentle, almost silky smoothness, complemented by fine tannins. The structure is elegantly balanced, with the refreshing presence of cool red fruit flavors.
The finish is harmonious and long-lasting, leaving a lasting impression of balance and refinement.

The Dalsheimer Bürgel is a VDP.Grosse Lage (Grand Cru) vineyard, characterized predominantly by limestone and clay soils. It is east-facing, making it one of the coolest sites in the Wonnegau region. WongAmat annual production: 4 barrels


Kriegsheimer Rosengarten Spätburgunder 2022
On the nose, it reveals deep and spicy aromas, accompanied by subtle hints of sweet licorice. It showcases both red and black fruit notes, with a delicate sweetness and finesse.
The palate offers a fine sweetness from oak, along with a vibrant, fresh, and elegant character.
The finish is long, balanced, and vibrant, providing a delightful drinking experience with excellent drinking flow.

The Kriegsheimer Rosengarten is a vineyard that has received relatively little attention until now. Situated in the former floodplain of the Pfrimm, a river in the Wonnegau region that originates from the Donnersberg. It faces south and is interspersed with gravel and iron deposits. Its gravel composition causes it to heat up more quickly than other sites. WongAmat annual production: 6 barrels

Following the two German Pinot Noir, we had the opportunity to taste two new releases: a Cabernet Franc and a Chardonnay. The latter is marketed under the label WongSiri, which will represent all of Jan’s future white wines. As the two wines were presented before me, I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of surprise. Cabernet Franc from Germany? Could it possibly measure up?

My seat neighbor, Hans-Peter Wöhrwag, brother of Jan’s mother-in-law, swiftly filled me in on the Cabernet Franc. He could be considered a pioneer for this grape variety in Germany. Back in the 1990s, he planted Cabernet Franc in his Monopole vineyard, Untertürkheimer Herzogenberg. Their shared passion for this grape variety was discovered during a family Christmas gathering, leading Hans-Peter to entrust his vines to Jan. It was a decision that would prove to be incredibly wise, as revealed during the tasting. Below are my impressions of both wines.

Flight 2

Untertürkheimer Herzogenberg Cabernet Franc 2022
On the nose, it exhibits distinct notes of green bell pepper, accompanied by dark fruit aromas. It is finely nuanced and clear, with underlying hints of spice.
The palate offers a gripping sensation, with velvety tannins and a vibrant acidity. Green bell pepper flavors persist, contributing to the wine’s depth and inner warmth.
The finish is balanced, fresh, and charming.

The Untertürkheimer Herzogenberg is located in Württemberg and characterized by gypsum keuper soil. It faces southwest and sits at an elevation of 280 meters above sea level, making it one of the highest vineyard sites in Germany. It is a Monopole vineyard of the Wöhrwag winery, featuring 30-year-old Cabernet Franc vines, a genuine rarity in Germany. WongAmat annual production: 3 barrels


Bockenheimer Schlossberg Chardonnay 2022
The nose reveals aromas of preserved lemon, hints of mirabelle plum, and delicate white flowers.
On the palate, it presents the finest texture with an embracing feel, balanced and lively, offering a mouth-filling experience without feeling heavy.
The finish is exceptionally long, fine, and saline, leaving a lingering impression.

The Bockenheimer Schlossberg is situated in the Pfalz region of Germany. Facing south, it is located in a cold valley, making it susceptible to frost. The vineyard is characterized by sandy soils. The vines here are venerable at 80 years old, with a micro-yield of approximately 15 hl/ha. WongAmat annual production: 4 barrels

Tasting‘s key findings

This exceptional evening confirmed my initial impression of the barrel samples from last summer. WongAmat’s 2022 wines impress with their cool, succulent fruit and already display captivating balance, freshness, and intricate structure despite their youth. The potential for extended aging is evident, with a slight preference for the Rosengarten over the Bürgel among the Pinots.

With only his second vintage, Jan Raumland has proven himself to be rightfully regarded as one of the future stars of the German Pinot Noir scene. He skillfully showcases the wines’ terroir while imparting his own distinctive touch. Finesse, fruitiness, and delicacy are the defining characteristics of his winemaking.

Returning to the evening itself, there’s one thing I can’t overlook. Kerstin and Max from Irori took us on a culinary journey through Japan. Their dishes were subtle yet substantial, embodying the essence of simplicity. Reserved yet always present. As you can tell, I’m truly enthusiastic. The news that they were recently awarded their first Michelin star delighted me. It’s been long-awaited and well-deserved.

Pictures: © The Art of Riesling – Maximilian Kaindl

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