Agathe Bursin Gewurztraminer Dirtstelberg 2016
Agathe is extremely pernickety and all aspects of the work in the vineyard is done by hand with love (as well as the harvest). She has a profound respect for the land, the terroir and her vines which she nurtures along the lines of biodynamy. She likes her vineyard to be permanently in ‘good health’ and uses herbal teas (nettles, etc..) as remedies. All cuvees other than the Grand Cru's which see limited time in barrel, are fermented in stainless steel.
Two large fault- lines cut at right angles through the commune of Westhalten : the fault-line of Marbach and that of Ohmbach. The valleys which they formed are individualized by the hillsides of Bollenberg, of Strangenberg and all of Zinnkoepflé-Hohberg From the fault-line of Marbach several smaller fault-lines delimit the Zinnkoepflé from other lieux-dits such as Hohberg, Lutzelberg or Dirstelberg. On the latter are planted parcels of Pinot Gris,Riesling and Gewurztraminer. Its soil is Voltzia sandstone formed at the beginning of the second epoch.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Agathe Bursin was born into a family of vintners. When Agathe was a child, her grandmother let her smell wines and decide if it was dominated by "fleure" or "fruit". In the kitchen, her grandmother made Agathe close her eyes and guess what was put in her mouth. These childhood experiences have contributed to Agathes current interest in flavors and fragrances.
Located in the commune of Westhalten, about fifteen kilometers to the south of Colmar, three famous hills of calcareous formation, Zinnkoepflé, Strangenberg and Bollenberg, form a crown around the village. Westhalten is famous for its Mediterranean-like microclimate. Indeed, this area is among the driest areas of France (500 mm of precipitation per annum), because it is protected by the two highest summits in the Vosges, le Grand-Ballon and le Petit-Ballon. This feeble rainfall over ancient limestone soils (along with fossilized anemones and oyster shells) creates one of Alsace most unique terroirs.
With its fairytale aesthetic, Germanic influence and strong emphasis on white wines, Alsace is one of France’s most unique viticultural regions. This hotly contested stretch of land running north to south on France’s northeastern border has spent much of its existence as German territory. Nestled in the rain shadow of the Vosges mountains, it is one of the driest regions of France but enjoys a long and cool growing season. Autumn humidity facilitates the development of “noble rot” for the production of late-picked sweet wines, Vendange Tardive and Sélection de Grains Nobles.
The best wines of Alsace can be described as aromatic and honeyed, even when completely dry. The region’s “noble” varieties, the only ones permitted within Alsace’s 51 Grands Crus vineyards, are Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Muscat, and Pinot Gris.
Riesling is Alsace’s main specialty. In its youth, Alsace Riesling is dry, fresh and floral, but develops complex mineral and flint character with age. Gewurztraminer is known for its signature spice and lychee aromatics, and is often utilized for late harvest wines. Pinot Gris is prized for its combination of crisp acidity and savory spice as well as ripe stone fruit flavors. Muscat, vinified dry, tastes of ripe green grapes and fresh rose petal.
Other varieties grown here include Pinot Blanc, Auxerrois, Chasselas, Sylvaner and Pinot Noir—the only red grape permitted in Alsace and mainly used for sparkling rosé known as Crémant d’Alsace. Most Alsace wines are single-varietal bottlings and unlike other French regions, are also labeled with the variety name.
Gewürztraminer, an expressive and aromatically distinctive white grape variety, is considered a noble variety in the Alsace region of France, and produces wonderful wines in the mountainous Alto Adige region of NE Italy. Generally this grape grows well in cooler regions and its natural intensity makes it a great ally for flavorful cuisine such as Indian, Middle Eastern or Moroccan. Somm Secret—Because of a charming perfume and tendency towards slight sweetness, Gewürztraminer makes for an excellent gateway wine for those who love sweet wines but want to venture into the realm of drier whites.