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.
I like to pair it with a stew of veal with vanilla, quail stuffed with spices or goose thighs, red cabbage, apples and cranberries. Serving temperature 15°C.
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The color is ruby red with purple reflections of good intensity. The disc is bright, limpid and transparent. The wine presents youth.
The nose is frank, pleasant, and intense. We perceive a dominant scent of red fruits, blackcurrant, and cherry, underlined by a mastered noble wood. Airing amplifies these smells and reveals grenadine, flowers, rose, spices, licorice, pepper and cinnamon. The fragrant profile is ripe, ambitious, magnified by mastered aging. The archetype of the great modern red wine from Alsace.
The attack on the palate is fleshy, silky. The alcohol base is full-bodied. We evolve on a medium with fine liveliness, marked by a pearling environment. We find the range of aromas of the nose, full of red fruits, cherry, blackcurrant, grenadine, flowers, rose, spices, pepper, liquorice, cinnamon and this noble woody vanilla flavor. The tannic structure is ripe, finely astringent. The finish has great length, 11-12 caudalies, as well as lovely liveliness and lingering astringency.
The balance of this wine is elegant, distinguished. It wonderfully reflects the rebirth of Pinot Noir from Alsace. Intelligently extracted, the raw material radiates through high-level breeding.
Comments by Pascal Leonetti – October 2018
“Best Sommelier of France 2006”