From all accounts, André Ostertag is one interesting guy.
One blogger who published about his visit there in 2010 noted “The Committee Interprofessionnel du Vins d’Alsace (CIVA) says that ‘André Ostertag is an eccentric, a wacky winemaking freak surrounded by the sanity and boredom of Germanic commercialism’.”
And the homepage of Ostertag’s website has a picture of the 1999 Riesling Manifesto published by Ostertag, Johannes Selbach and Randall Grahm urging people to give Riesling a chance.
Founded by his father in 1966, the Domaine has been biodynamic since 1998, and is ploughed and worked by hand. The family owns 14.3 ha, but that’s spread between 80 small plots and divided even further between 5 villages. The Fronholz, where the fruit for this wine is from, is 4 ha but only 0.3ha are planted to Pinot Noir on southwest facing quartz-based slopes.
The Domaine has bottled this wine in a brown flute which signifies it’s a ‘Vin de Pierre‘ or a wine that espouses its terroir – in this case, the quartz with sand, clay and marl.
This wine is unlike most Pinot Noirs I’ve tasted – so pure and clean. Medium cherry with garnet overtones (we opened it at 7 years old), this wine is striking; it’s lines are absolutely pristine.
It’s also alive with aromas – cherries, sous bois, cedar, dried moss, spice and tingling minerality.
The palate is dry with an elegantly minor level of alcohol and mouth-watering acidity framed by lightly strained tannins. Flavours are intense with ripe black cherry, pomegranate, dried leaves, cloves and crushed rocks and the finish is long.
Unfiltered, balanced and fully integrated, this wine is both elegant and delicate, intense and flavourful. Available in the US, imported by Kermit Lynch.