The place called Stein is at the top of the Bollenberg hill. The name Bollenberg derives certainly from “Belen” or “Belanus”, Celtic god of fire in pastoral life. Stein means stone in German and defines the stony soil of this place
Clearly separated from the Vosges slopes, the Bollenberg hill extends from Rouffach to Issenheim, a few kilometers north of Guebwiller. The place called Stein is on the ridgeline to the west and made up of the Grande Oolithe’s limestone. It forms compact and dry layers with thin soils. The exceptional climate is due to the geographic location of the hill, that is part of the Guebwiller’s field of faults. The average low rainfall of 350 mm per year is mainly due to the intense summer storms that regulate the great drought, making the Bollenberg hill the driest limestone hill in France.
After a 3 weeks maceration, the wine is then aged in Burgundian oak barrels of 225l and in small capacity casks for approximately 18 months. After a light filtration, the wine is bottled.
It can be associated with a Bresse poultry stuffed with ceps and forest mushrooms in a salt crust, a fillet of duck breast with spices, plums and semolina or a boneless quail roasted with duck Foie Gras from the Périgord region… Serving temperature 16°C.
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The robe is ruby red with purple highlights, of good intensity, the disk is bright, limpid and transparent. The wine shows youth.
The nose is marked, pleasant and intense. We perceive a dominant of candied scents, red fruits (cherry, blackcurrant), spices (cinnamon), all admirably highlighted by fine woody scents, slightly smoked. The airing enhances these scents and reveals red current, blackberry as well as light floral notes of rose. Intense and elegant, the profile shows the brightness of the grape variety, enhanced by an adequately controlled maturation. What a fruit!
The onset in the mouth is fleshy and shows a beautiful silky touch with a balanced alcohol support. The wine evolves on a bright medium, with a sparkling note. The range of flavours is in line with that of the nose, intense and still dominated by red fruits (redcurrant, blackberry, blackcurrant, cherry), spices (cinnamon), flowers (rose) and this slight yet complex smoky touch. The ripe tannin is caressing.
The finish has a good length, 7-8 caudalies, a delicate liveliness and a persistent astringency. Soft and full, the satiny balance is a delicacy. The noble range of flavours creates a sensation of something spherical, without roughness.
Comments by Pascal Leonetti – January 2019
“Best Sommelier of France 2006”