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.
This wine can be associated with a braised guinea fowl with bacon strips, a pluma de Pata Negra with cepe mushrooms and a Banyuls sauce or a forest-style cooked pleasant. Serving temperature 15°C.
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The robe is ruby red with purple reflections, 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 red fruits, cherry, blackcurrant, strawberry, spices, cinnamon as well as a touch of precious wood (cedar). The airing enhances these scents, accentuates the cherry and reveals floral notes of rose and vanilla. The nose shows a bright fruit, enhanced by a noble wood, wisely integrated.
The onset in the mouth is slender, the alcohol support is well-balanced. The wine evolves on a tight medium, marked by a sparkling note. We find the same aromas as on the nose, still dominated by red fruits, cherry, blackcurrant, flowers, rose, spices, cinnamon and this underlying noble vanilla note of cedar and cigar cellar. The ripe tannin is slightly astringent. The finish has a good length, 9-10 caudalies, with a soft astringency and a fine and persistent liveliness.
This wine shows a satin and elegance balance, almost without roughness. It has a bright fruit and falls within the Alsatian character of the major Pinot Noirs.
Comments by Pascal Leonetti – October 2018
“Best Sommelier of France 2006”