Pinot Gris Grand Cru 'Hengst' Albert Mann, Wettolsheim 2015
Albert Mann, Wettolsheim
“The Barthelme brothers –Jacky and Maurice – have maintained their position near the forefront of Alsace viticulture, farming a range of relatively far-flung and outstanding vineyards, as well as offering excellent value virtually throughout their range.” David Schildknecht, The Wine Advocate February 2008
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 fertilizers. 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 divided up 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. The Riesling ‘Cuvée Albert’ originates from 2 separate terroirs (Altenbourg in Kienthzeim and Rosenberg in Wettolsheim) and is characterised by a clean, precise citrus edge and fine minerality.
Historical records trace vine growing in the south-east facing hillside vineyard, Hengst, back to the 9th century. Its shallow, stony, mostly calcareous soils produce wines with superb ageing potential. The 43g/l of residual sugar in Pinot Gris Grand Cru 'Hengst' Albert Mann balanced by the vibrant acidity. Honey and caramel notes are offset by white truffle, peach and orange blossom, culminating in a beautifully persistent, long finish.
Grape: 100 % Pinot Gris