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Domaine VALENTIN ZUSSLIN Pinot Noir 'Bollenberg Luft' 2016
Domaine VALENTIN ZUSSLIN Pinot Noir 'Bollenberg Luft' 2016
Domaine VALENTIN ZUSSLIN Pinot Noir 'Bollenberg Luft' 2016
Domaine VALENTIN ZUSSLIN Pinot Noir 'Bollenberg Luft' 2016

Domaine VALENTIN ZUSSLIN Pinot Noir 'Bollenberg Luft' 2016


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" This is definitely a wine to try, even for Burgundy fetishists! However, it's very rare: Less than 1,000 bottles have been produced!"

  • Wine Region: Alsace - France
  • Terroirs: Bollenberg
  • Grape: Pinot Noir 100%
  • Color: Red
  • Farming:Biodynamic & Natural

One of Zusslin's goals has always been to be the most accurate in the expression of the Terroirs that they vinify. To go further in this process, they have done the choice in 2016 to no longer produce the “Harmonie” cuvée and replace it with two more parcel selections precise: the Luft and the Neuberg. This choice was also made in view of the demands of Premiers Crus beginning to appear in Alsace.

To produce this very limited cuvée (less than 1000 bottles) they followed different steps: maceration for two and a half weeks (after three sortings drastic and total destemming), punching down 3 times a day manually only. Aged for 15 months in piece, with about 10% new wood. This piece of wood nine corresponding to the new parts added to our cellar and benefiting from a drying time for the wood higher (42 months instead of the usual 36) for refine the contribution of tannins to the maximum.

Tasting notes:The Luft expresses fresh aromas of red fruits accompanied by silky and precise tannins.

96 / 100 Parker

What has been the Bollenberg Harmonie up to the 2015 vintage is now Bollenberg Luft and Bollenberg Neuberg. Both parcels have always been blended, but there is a promising movement in Alsace to define premiers crus in the future, so the Zusslins have decided to start two single-vineyard Pinots inside the Bollenberg. I am sad to see one of the finest red wines from Alsace being discontinued, but I also more than welcome the new twins.

The 2016 Pinot Noir Bollenberg Luft comes from the upper part of the west-facing "cru," which has its the roots in Jurassic limestone and is covered by a layer of silt less than one meter thick. The first vintage, 2016, gave pure, fine and fresh Pinot Noirs in Alsace and is among my favorite vintages for red wines in this beautiful and still underrated region west of the Rhine River. Zusslin's Luft premiere shows a ruby-garnet color and opens with a deep, pure and aromatic, fleshy and slightly toasty bouquet of perfectly ripe and concentrated cherries as well as red and dark berries (red currant, raspberries, wild strawberries, black berries) that come to the nose with enormous finesse and floral notes. Utterly silky and balanced on the palate, this is a full-bodied, very intense and dense yet vibrantly fresh, if not dramatic, and highly elegant Pinot Noir whose tannins are silky and completely interwoven with the fine and silky texture and the delicate and, in fact, salty-mineral, vibrantly fresh acidity that gives so much energy and is so stimulating. This is a spectacular, refined, finessed and firmly structured, sustainable and even saline/iodine Pinot Noir whose oak management is nothing less than perfect. The finish is tart yet fine and highly stimulating. This is definitely a wine to try, even for Burgundy fetishists! However, it's very rare: Less than 1,000 bottles have been produced.

PS: When I tasted the wine again from the same bottle eight days later, it was still on an extraordinary level. This is a unique Alsace Pinot Noir, incomparable with anything I have had from this great region. It is fresher, more crystalline and transparent yet hardly better than Albert Mann's impressive, more full-bodied and dense Pinot Noirs. Stephen Reinhardt

94 / 100 James Suckling

This offers almost Barolo-like perfumes with dried cedar, tea leaves, incense, rose petals and earth and roasted herbs. The palate feathers a fine line between power and concentration and depth and definition, boasting muscular tannins and grilled-meat undertones. Drink in 2021.

Established in 1691 by M. Jodocus CISLE (former name of Zusslin), Domaine Valentin ZUSSLIN is now run by two generations of the Zusslin family who are following in the footsteps of their forbears. The winery is based in Orschwihr, south of Colmar, and the vines are planted on the slopes of the Bollenberg, Clos Liebenberg and Grand Cru Pfingstberg.

Since 1997, the estate has been run in its entirety according to the principles of Bio-Dynamic culture. The vines are mainly worked by hand and a significant amount of time is devoted to caring for the soil.

Awarded the Robert Parker Green emblem in July 2021.