October 2017—Our 45th Anniversary!
The wizardry of Ostertag is on full display when a bottle of his holy Muenchberg is uncorked. A little-known but magnificent terroir, Muenchberg is a volcanic foothill of the Vosges mountains that doesn’t lie along the main well-traveled road of the Alsatian wine route. You’ll find it in the northern half of Alsace known, counterintuitively, as the Bas-Rhin (Lower Rhine). A majestic amphitheater, lost in time and space, is the source of André’s most complete, most complex, and longest-lived Riesling. Expect to find all the dimensions of great dry Riesling and then some: purity, raciness, spice, peat, salinity, longevity, finesse. –Dixon Brooke
|Appellation:||Alsace Grand Cru|
|Vineyard:||1.7 ha; From the Alsatian “muench” meaning monk, this vineyard is named for the Cistercian monks who originally planted vines here in the 11th-12th centuries. In a south-facing amphitheater in Nothalten at the foot of the Vosges mountains, the Muenchberg site combines volcanic sediment and the pink sandstone of the Vosges with a touch of limestone.|
|Soil:||Volcanic Sediment, Pink Sandstone|
To call André Ostertag a revolutionary winemaker is to tell just half the story. He is a pioneer, certainly, but also an ardent environmentalist. After training in Burgundy, André returned to the family domaine in Alsace with renewed zeal: he lowered yields considerably and introduced viticultural and vinification techniques from other regions to his own home ground. He looks for the nuance of terroir rather than the typicity of a grape varietal. André rejects formulaic, scientifically engineered wines, and since going biodynamic in 1997, has been an active member of the natural farming community.
You don’t have to be rich to cellar a great wine.