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Agathe Bursin, Pinot Noir Lutzeltal 2016
Pinot Noir 100%
This is a gorgeously pure wine with classy aromatics of red fruits, spice, and light calcareous minerality. It is the inaugural bottling for Agathe Bursin, Pinot Noir Lutzelberg, from the eponymous, low yielding, southwest facing, stony calcareous vineyard.
Fermented with 60% whole clusters and eight days of cold maceration, then aged in used barrels that Bursin buys from Chassagne Montrachet’s Jean-Claude Ramonet, this Lutzeltal Pinot Noir is never sulfured until just a wee smidgey poo is added immediately prior to bottling. Yup, that’s right, no sulfur during vinification nor elevage; purity is as purity does!)
Since taking over the family domaine in 2000, Agathe has garnered a reputation as one of Alsace’s “comets in the sky”. Quantities harvested are small and demand is high making the wines sell out fast. The vines are located around the village of Westhalten in the south of the Alsace region. Around one third of Agathe’s vines are in the Grand Cru of Zinnkoepfle - reaching up to be Alsace’s highest peak at 420m, with south/south-eastern exposures and wonderfully sheltered - with the remainder in what is known as the Noble Valley. Agathe works this terroir by hand and by heart, organic principals and herbal and biodynamic preparations all contributing to the health and vigour of the vines. This land is tied to Agathe’s experiences from early childhood tasting with her grandmother and grandfather. Her wines wonderfully exhibit the profound textural weight and verve of the region.
Agathe Bursin farms 5.5 ha in the French Alsace not far from the pretty town of Colmar, including a plot of 1.3 ha on the Grand Cru Zinnkoepfle.
Other than the four noble grape varieties - Riesling (20%), Gewurztraminer (20%), Pinot Gris (15%) and Muscat (5% ), - Bursin grows Sylvaner, a variety she adores, and Pinot Noir. Agathe Bursin also has a keen interest in co-plantation - the beautiful L'As de B is made from the grapes in the co-planted lieu-dit Bollenberg.
Agathe Bursin has been educated in Bourgogne and has worked in Chablis and the Rhone Valley. In Chablis, she wanted to learn about vinification of white wines. In the Rhone valley, her objective was to learn how to work in steep vineyards and run a small estate with many parcels and several cuvees.
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