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Domaine Ostertag

text and photographs © 2007 Tom Cannavan

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

Domaine Ostertag (France) 'Fruit' Vieilles Vignes Sylvaner 2005
33 - 70-year old vines, two hectares of it. Lovely peach down and apple skin fruit. Delicate floral notes. The palate has a bit of real concentration, with a grippy note and a forceful character, with really nice fruit through a solidly packed mid palate with lemon skin and orange zest acidity in the finish. Delicious.

Domaine Ostertag (France) 'Fruit' Pinot Blanc 2005
Barrique fermented and aged 50/50 Pinot Blanc and Auxerrois, in 10 per cent new oak. Oak is not too dominant, adding a little fat perhaps to very clean, crisp orchard fruits. The palate is dry and savoury, with clean, pure very mouthfilling but precise fruit character. Some spice comes through, in a lovely, rich wine with lovely balance.

Domaine Ostertag (France) 'Fruit' Pinot Gris 2004
25% new oak in a barrel-fermented and aged wine. Rich plummy, pear skin fruit with a depth and little smoothing overlay of vanilla. On the palate this has a rich, full texture and a certain creaminess, with fat textured pear and melon fruit, and a serious core of mineral and lime concentrated acidity.

Domaine Ostertag (France) 'Stone' Pinot Gris Zellberg 2004
40% new oak. Similar nose, with apple and pear skin qualities, and a certain waxy richness. Again, the oak influence is not overpowering. Lovely sense of sweetness of fruit, with a rich, rounded quite spicy character. Chalky, clay and sandstone character. 11 months in oak.

Domaine Ostertag (France) 'Stone' Heissenberg Riesling 2004
All stainless steel, the vineyard name means 'hot mountain'. Lovely lime and blossom-scented wine, with very pure, quite fat and ripe apple fruit. On the palate the purity and beautiful limpidity comes through. The acid is very mineral and has a pith lemon zest life about it. Lovely length and minerality.

Domaine Ostertag (France) "Stone" Muenchberg Grand Cru Riesling 2004
Lovely yellow colour. This has a glorious nose, with very fine Riesling character, with some herbal and nutty apple notes, a twist of citrus and a fine stony minerality. On the palate it has some richness and fat in the texture, with wonderfully ripe, almost tropical fruit notes, and a searing core of beautifully generous but firm and precise acidity. This has wonderful structure and wonderful complexity with sweet layers, wonderful juiciness and a lovely sour edge of grapefruit and underripe plum or greengage. Fabulous.

Domaine Ostertag (France) 'Temps' Muenchberg Grand Cru VT 2004
Picked only eight days later than the wine above in this vintage. There is fine honey and lemon lusciousness, very thick and limpid, with fantastic honeyed ripeness.

Domaine Ostertag (France) 'Temps' Gewürztraminer Frohholz VT 2004
Brilliant nose (picked third week November) with huge luscious, honeyed ripeness, but not masking the spice and lychee flavour of the Gewurz. Terrific quality. The palate is beautifully rich and ripe, with scintillating balance and precision to the flavours, with floral, spice and lychee and guava fruit, and beautiful definition of grapefruit flavour and acidity.

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