Brett happens

All wine, most of the time

Three of one

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A trio of Rieslings followed, all made essentially the same way. Harvesting was manual. The grapes were sorted in the vineyard and the cellar. The whole clusters were gently pressed. The must was allowed to clarify by settling for 12 hours, then racked into stainless steel fermentation vats. Fermentation was with indigenous yeasts. No chaptalization or other additions, including fining agents, were used. Minimal amounts of sulphur dioxide were added at the first racking and at bottling. All the wines were lightly filtered at bottling.

Alsace 2012, Rosenberg, Riesling, Domaine Barmes Buecher ($31.50, 11896121)
Clayey limestone (mainly chalk) with sandstone and flinty substrates. Matured in stainless steel tanks. Reducing sugar: 6.3 g/l. 12.8% ABV. Quebec agent: oenopole.
Winey nose of apple, white flowers, quartz and hints of pineapple and petrol. Smooth, supple and pure. Fruity but ultimately dry with high but well-integrated acidity. Long. “Des beaux amères,” rightly remarked Giusto Occhipinti. Accessible now but with the potential to improve. (Buy again? Yes.)

Alsace Grand Cru 2011, Steingrübler, Riesling, Domaine Barmes Buecher ($48.00, 12214161)
Limestone with clay, marl and coarse sand of granitic origin. Matured 12 months on the lees in demi-muids. 15% ABV. Quebec agent: oenopole.
Deeper, more complex, classic nose: crystals galore, vaporous sweet yellow and white fruit and citrus zest and a whiff of kerosene. In the mouth, it’s tense, tightly coiled and multidimensional. Very dry. The fruit tends to grapefruit including some pith on the long, minerally finish. The steeliest and most powerful of the three, though the alcohol is far less apparent than the percentage might lead you to believe. Will surely benefit from another four or five years in the cellar. (Buy again? Definitely.)

Alsace Grand Cru 2010, Hengst, Riesling, Domaine Barmès Buecher ($48.00, 11010343)
Marl limestone. Matured 12 months on the lees in demi-muids. Reducing sugar: 3.8 g/l. 13% ABV. Quebec agent: oenopole.
More open and upfront, fruitier than the Steingrübler: apple and lemon against a backdrop of minerals and distant petrol. Richer and sunnier in the mouth, the fruit more voluptuous. Approaching off-dry though the sugar is held in check by buoyant acidity and a fainly bitter, white-mineral underlay. Long. A bit monolithic for now but the potential is obvious. The pick of the trio for several of the tasters present. (Buy again? Yes.)

MWG April 14th tasting: flight 2 of 6.

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Written by carswell

July 20, 2015 at 16:00

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