Lime and Pink Grapefruit on the nose. The palate is fine and delicate, with a pure saline feel.
This well-regarded 21 hectares Alsace domaine is run by two brothers, Maurice and Jacky Barthelmé, in the village of Wettolsheim near Colmar. Albert Mann, Maurice’s father-in-law, decided to use modern production tools without neglecting the constraints of the land. His philosophy was to make wine using the elements of the soil, without the help of fertilisers. The Barthelmé brothers have embraced his beliefs and are now at the forefront of a group of organic/ biodynamic Alsace producers.
The goal of the estate is to produce wine that is in harmony with nature: “Wine is the memory of the grape and is capable of transmitting the taste of the earth”. Since 2000 the estate’s wines have been organically certified by Ecocert. The brothers began practising biodynamic viticulture in 1997 in three Grands Crus vineyards and received biodynamic certification from Biodyvin in 2015. The viticultural practice is labour intensive, but it gives the wine the purest reflection of its terroir and own identity. In ploughing the vineyards, they encourage the roots to descend to a maximum depth, in order to capture the beneficial mineral elements from degraded rock below.
The vineyard holding is sub-divided into a myriad of distinct plots, thus ensuring that the wines are as reflective of their precise origins, whilst also being as complex and multi-faceted as possible. The domaine owns vines in 5 separate Grand Cru sites, totalling 7 hectares. Hengst and Schlossberg are two of the better known of these. Hengst (meaning stallion) has a southeast orientation and shallow stony calcareous soil; whilst Schlossberg, with its steep, terraced slopes of granite, sand and shale, yields particularly expressive wines with pronounced floral bouquets. Both sites produce wines that age superbly.