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 roast veal with thyme, mushrooms and candied potatoes, a duck fillet in a red wine sauce with spicy rice or a hind fillet with red fruits, ceps and celery cakes. Serving temperature 16°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. Distinguished, we perceive a dominant of red fruit scents (blackcurrant, cherry), finely underlined by notes of noble wood, vanilla and spices (cinnamon). The airing enhances the red fruits, balances the aging and reveals chocolate, blood and underlying floral notes of rose and peony. The nose gives the Pinot Noir a radiant definition. It is young but the wood eventually disappears to show fruit and expresses a nice complexity. Outstanding work!
The onset in the mouth is slender and delicate. The alcoholic base is fullbodied.
The wine evolves on a medium with a fine vivacity, marked by a slight sparkling note. We find the same aromas as on the nose, still dominated by red fruits (blackcurrant, cherry), precious wood (sandalwood), vanilla, flowers (peony), spices (cinnamon) and chocolate. The tannin is woody, ripe and shows a light astringency. The finish has a good length, 8-9 caudalies, a delicate vivacity and a light but persistent astringency. The balance shows juice and a nice touch. The high-quality aging will easily help it balance. A very great wine is born !
Comments by Pascal Leonetti – October 2018
“Best Sommelier of France 2006”