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text and photographs © 2007 Tom Cannavan

These notes accompany our in-depth feature on Biodynamic Alsace.

Barmes-Buecher (France) Pinot Blanc Rosenberg 2004
Fairly restrained, quite nutty apple and pear fruit. Quite spicy, with plenty of powerful fruit o the palate. Very savoury and juicy, with plenty of apple fruit and a big sour lemony core that adds elegance, with lots of orangy acidity and a grippy touch of phenolics in the finish. Little smoky notes. 87

Barmes-Buecher (France) Riesling Rosenberg 2004
A lightly toffeed nose, with small waxy, notes with plenty of lemon fruit and a rounded, crunchy apple fruit. The palate has a fat, juicy lemon fruit, with plenty of dry, pith acidity in a full, but clean and deliciously straightforward Riesling, that has lovely concentration and balance. 88

Barmes-Buecher (France) Riesling Clos Sand 2004
Quite a rich, mealy quality on the nose, with dry white fruit qualities: melon, underripe pear, and apple. The palate is full and rich, with a lot of pithy, dry lemon fruit and a full, rich texture. There is real minerality and a steely, stony seriousness here: these are much less 'fruity' and more for ageing. 90

Barmes-Buecher (France) Riesling Leimenthal 2004
A touch of sulphur blows off to show a very stony, mineral character and subdued, dry white fruits. The palate here is even more focused and aesthetic, with lean, savoury, lemon and white fruit notes subsumed by a dry minerality. Very fine, with excellent length and a composed, serious character. 90

Barmes-Buecher (France) Riesling Grand Cru Steingrubler 2004
Quite a dark colour, and a very tight, ungiving nose at present, with herbal notes and a real sense of restrained power and depth. There's a toffeed, sweet element in the mouth, with pear fruit and a touch of underripe yellow plum: these are really powerful wines, and this has some waxiness and a very grippy finish with good phenolics and mineral acidity. Long and just off dry (11% RS) 92

Barmes-Buecher (France) Riesling Grand Cru Hengst 2004
Similarly tightly bound, brooding power evident on the nose here: clearly a big, concentrated and powerful wine that is in its infancy. Lemon and mineral notes, with a cool, stony, river pebble minerality. On the palate this has a really racy character: it is tight and pithy at present, with a lemon zest twist of waxy power and quite a full, rich texture into the finish. Very tangy and decisive, but still retaining elegance. 93

Barmes-Buecher (France) Pinot Gris Rosenberg 'Silicis' 2004
Again quite composed and tight, with some orangy notes and a definite edge of smokiness, but quite reserved. The palate has fine lemony fruit and is really tight and reserved. 90

Barmes-Buecher (France) Pinot Gris Rosenberg 'Silicis' 2002
Wonderfully toffeed, rich, with a peaty, smoky character and total transformation after two years extra in bottle. On the palate lovely richness and a little more sweetness (19g/l as opposed to 2.7 in 2004) with fine, honeyed, rich stone fruit flavours but still that lovely firm mineral acidity running through like a spine of steel. 92

Barmes-Buecher (France) Pinot Gris Rosenberg 'Calcarious' 2004
A slightly more herbal, smoky quality apparent immediately, with good fruit coming through. A little more open than the Silicis. Lovely richness here, with terrific sense of richness and sweetness. There is a burgeoning sense of opulence to this wine, but that wonderful spine of minerality and pithy, dry lemon acidity keeps it terrifically focused. Fabulous. 93

Barmes-Buecher (France) Gewurztraminer Winzenheim 2004
What a beautifully delicate rose petal fragrance. No lychee or very flamboyant notes, but a very delicate spice and fresh, peachy fruit. The palate has lovely weight and a rich texture, with fine sweet fruit, but such lovely balancing acidity - not harsh or pithy, but very precise and focused. Beautiful wine. 91 23g/l

Barmes-Buecher (France) Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Steingrubler 2004
Much more powerful, much more mineral, with a real expression of terroir rather than grape. Tight and focused. Weighty, waxy, but slightly less full than the Winzenheim, but with a lovely sweetness coming through. Far less 'gewurzy' in terms of fruit character, but has the hallmarks fused with minerality and vegetal quality. Extremely fine and serious expression of Gewurz. 92

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