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“This fairly young domaine, which began life in the 1960s, has 13 hectares of vines split among 75 plots in five villages. The wines are quite simply brilliant, as I hope the tasting notes below make clear.” Jamie Goode
Having this range of wines in Alsace allows producers to tell a story and explain what’s on offer. This is done really well here with the wines being organised into the domaines own classifications; Les Vins de Fruit, the varietal expression cuveés; Les Vins de Pierre, the terroir driven cuveés; and Les Vins de Temps, late harvest cuveés that depend on the weather (le temps) for ripening and the development of botrytis.
The 15 hectares are split into 88 parcelles/plots and André Ostertag refers to these as 88 gardens (les jardins). The gardens are spread across the Muenchberg grand cru, four lieux-dits (roughly north to south – Fronholz, Zellberg, Heissenberg and Clos Mathis), plus multiple village plots around Epfig, Nothalten, Itterswiller and Albé. Biodynamic farming has been practiced since 1996 and the domaine carries certification from Demeter.
Les Vins de Fruit, the varietal expression cuveés
These wines come from parcels outside the lieu-dit or the grand cru vineyards. The wines are based on the grape variety.
Wine Enthusiast 92/00: A gentle note of ripe, yellow pear is pure on the nose of this wine, with the slightest edge of hazelnut and cinnamon. The palate adds bright but rounded freshness while the finish remains dry, shining with purity and poise. Anne Kreibiehl MW
Wine Enthusiast 93/00: Hints of tangerine, lemon and mandarin on the nose of this wine convey ripeness and freshness in equal measure. The palate offers melon juiciness edged with lemon, leavening ripeness with freshness. The finish is dry, long and a total joy. Anne Kreibiehl MW
Les Vins de Pierre, the terroir driven cuveés
These come from the Lieux dits:
Ostertag “Clos Mathis”, Riesling, Alsace, 2018 $44.99 Pre Offer $39.99
The Clos Mathis at Ribeauvillé: The soil type is heavily granitic and this produces in the wines a lovely acidic tension that balances the fruit.
Clos Mathis is a sculpted thoroughbred of stone and citrus, destined for a promising life in the cellars of those so inclined to grab their share of the ten cases imported into California. Kermit Lynch. I got 12 bottles!!
Wine Enthusiast 95/00: A glint of Mirabelle plum on the nose of this wine is edged with lemon and wet stone. The palate expands into a riper, juicier notion of melon and shows a salty, yeasty but also zesty texture guided by lemony freshness. The finish tapers to a linear dryness that shines with honesty and barely constrained energy.Anne Kreibiehl MW, Buy Now
Wine Enthusiast 94/00:A notion of freshly cut pear peel has the gentlest creaminess on the nose of this wine. The palate brims with similarly pure fresh fruit while the texture recalls russet-pear peel and citrus zest. Mild freshness pervades and brightens the flavors. The dry finish is luminous and long, as well as uncommonly fresh for 2018. Drink by 2040. ANNE KREBIEHL MW, Buy Now
Les Vins de Temps, late harvest cuveés
I cannot find any tasting notes for this wine. What I can tell you is that with my past experience with this wine it will be delicious.
For the 2018 vintage, a recurring term is “mellow.” From a record hot year across most of Europe, the wines produced from this vintage are rounded and mild in acidity.
Choosing between 2016, 2017 and 2018 is thus a matter of taste rather than quality. If you like it snappy and fresh, pitch for the 2016s, if you like rounded opulence, enjoy the 2018s. If the middle ground is your game, check out the balanced 2017s.