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Valentin Zusslin

text and photographs © 2007 Tom Cannavan

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

Valentin Zusslin (France) Pinot Auxerrois Vieilles Vignes 2004
Many parcels, but average age of 30 years+ Very attractive, honeyed nose with some lightly toasty character and quiet forward peachy fruit. Lovely sweetness on the palate, with terrific fruit sweetness, a ripe nectarine and peachy ripeness and fine, racy acidity. Lovely easy drinking, but nicely focused and balanced wine with lovely length. 8g/l.

Valentin Zusslin (France) Riesling Bollenberg 2004
Very ripe, rich, quite buttery and honeyed quality. Palate has a nuttiness and peach kernel quality, with very nice fruit and a lovely core of fat, lemony and waxy fruit, with some lemon and a certain minerality in the acidity. Lovely, very dry.

Valentin Zusslin (France) Riesling Clos de Liebenberg 2002
Extremely dry, lemony, very firm fruit quality here, with a fairly closed nose, but a buttery ripeness comes through on the palate. Very steely core to this wine, but the fruit is quite bright and orangy, with a tangy, fresh finish and good length. A step up in intensity (though from a different year,

Valentin Zusslin (France) Riesling Grand Cru Pfingstberg 2002
Only 28 hl/ha yield. The nose has a very composed, firm white fruit character with a hint of honey and lovely ripeness. The palate has a racy, lime and lemon fruit character with a fatness and waxy richness. But the minerality and almost salty dryness comes though into a very long finish.

Valentin Zusslin (France) Muscat Cuvée Marie 2003
On average 25-year-old vines. All Muscat Ottonel, not Muscat d'Alsace. Very attractive, expressive sherbet and floral character. Very nice character, with a lovely fresh, grapey, very lively and vibrant, with a decisive core of acidity that makes it seem quite dry and very focused in to a grapefruity finish. Lovely

Valentin Zusslin (France) Pinot Gris Clos de Liebenberg 2003
Some plum and nectarine skin richness and quality, with plenty of texture on the palate and a very appley and slightly herbal richness with grip and texture and a smoky. Very nice, powerful wine but elegant and racy.

Valentin Zusslin (France) Gewurztraminer Bollenberg La Chapelle 2002
Very nice buttery, perfumed style with some gentle floral notes and a ripe, quite juicy peachy style of fruit. This is structured and dry in the finish, with lots of spice and a bit of alcoholic heat, but lovely balance and real power and structure.

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