Valentin Zusslin - Pinot Noir Bollenberg Luft - red - 2016 - 750 ml
WHAT THE WINEMAKERS ARE SAYING
"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."96 points, Stephan Reinhardt, The Wine Advocate
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. In 1997 the domaine converted to biodynamic viticulture. Much of the work in the vineyard and in the cellar is done by hand, in order that the grapes can express the full potential of the unique terroirs of the Domaine.
From: France, Alsace
Variety: Pinot Noir