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This is a memorable Riesling from two parcels in the Grand Cru of Frankstein, which rests above the town of Dambach-la-Ville on a fault of granite. Frauenberg is a parcel that gives small berries that Florian and Mathilde find to have great concentration and intense acidity. This is blended with fruit from the Pflanzer parcel, which has less intensity and provides more delicate character to the blend. There is less intense dryness here than with the 2015 vintage, which translates to a bit more ripeness and body. Quite reductive and 'petroly' on the nose upon opening, but give it time, and something ethereal and quite enjoyable emerges. The first bottle I opened stateside was forgotten in my fridge for about a week, and I was greatly impressed with how lovely it was 7 days after opening! Definitely a young wine, but a very pure and age-worthy wine nonetheless. Guaranteed there's enough acidity and mineral sharpness from the granitic soils for this natural wine to age gracefully without fear of bacterial issues developing. -EL
Though this Riesling was produced before the Hausherrs converted to Biodynamic farming and started making natural wines, it is proof that I actually do love varietal wines from Alsace and I don't mind a little added SO2! The wine was fermented in stainless steel, and bottled with 20 mg/l of SO2. Soils here are a mix of marl and sandstone with north-west exposition. It's a very classic Alsace Riesling, with notes of petrol and passion fruit. There's lovely ripeness here, balanced by zippy acidity, and subtle oxidative notes. -EL
This is a special bottling that the Hausherrs made from a difficult 2014 harvest. Mildew had created problems with their tiny plot of Pinot Noir, so they made a Blanc de Noirs from their miniscule 0.3 hectares. They then aged the wine for 4 years in a large barrel. The result is a deep golden, slightly oxidative and remarkably expressive wine, with notes of butterscotch and creme brûlée. -EL
Aussitôt Bue is a blend of Pinot Auxerrois* and Sylvaner, with a small amount of Tokai Pinot Gris, from an east-facing parcel on sandstone terroir. Notes of white melon, lemon curd, and lychee, with a touch of fleshiness on the palate. A friendly wine, and a great aperitif sipper. -EL*I ask every Alsace producer what the difference is between Pinot Blanc and Auxerrois, and Hubert had some insight on the matter! As he explained, Auxerrois typically has lower acidity than its close cousin Pinot Blanc, but is known for lovely aromatics, while Pinot Blanc is greener and less beautiful aromatically.
This is a skin-contact offering from Hubert and Heidi Hausherr. A blend of Pinot Gris, Sylvaner, Auxerrois, and Riesling, with 21 days of maceration. Because the grapes were left intact (whole-cluster), the tannic structure here is very subtle. Hubert says the Riesling provides pretty acidity, and I believe the Pinot Gris lent color and spice. Of all the Hausherr wines, this is the only one I would recommend drinking in one sitting. It seems to lose it's freshness and lift after several hours, and some bacterial notes emerge. Their still whites, however, are well worth trying over several days! -EL
Colline Céleste is a wine made from a coplantation of Gewurztraminer, Riesling and Pinot Gris from the Eischberg Grand Cru, which is a south and east exposed vineyard of marl and limestone. The "berg" in Eischberg is Alsatian for "hill" (colline in French) and Céleste is the name of their grandfather. Hubert explained that the fermentation stopped with 10 grams of sugar remaining, so they waited 5 or 6 months to see if the yeast might finish the job. It didn't change much so they bottled at 9 grams RS. The blend here is dominated by the Gewurztraminer in percentage and aromatics. Lovely floral and white pepper notes, with a long, spicy finish. Though it isn't 100%, if anyone out there likes a good dry Gewurztraminer, this is most definitely worth a try! -EL
A blend of Riesling and Pinot Gris from marl and sandstone soils. This wine was a treat to taste over several hours and maintained it's freshness and energy into the second day. Notes of lemon verbena, and stone fruit. Pinot Gris gives some heft and power but it's very delicate and round. Riesling provides straight acidity and melon fruit. This is a great example of a natural wine that is first and foremost complex and terroir-driven. The detail of it's lack of filtration or sulfur addition is important and noteworthy of course, but it does not define the wine or predict how complete and well-made it is. -EL