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2013 Pinot Noir, Nature, Domaine Lucas & André Rieffel
In the Bas-Rhin near the town of Barr, surrounding the village of Mittelbergheim, are located the 9.5ha of vineyards owned by Lucas Rieffel and his father André. Lucas took over the reins in 1996, and he has been working towards becoming organic ever since...Since the 2009 harvest wines have been 100% organic.
Benefiting from a spicy mix of sandstone, clay, marl, granite and limestone soils, Lucas's strength lies particularly in his range of fine varietal (fruit) wines, notably Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Muscat, Sylvaner & increasingly Pinot Noir.
However he also produces stunning wines from the single Grand Cru vineyard sites of Wiebelsberg, Zotzenberg & Kirchberg de Barr.
Vinification is a traditional blend of 'foudres' and stainless-steel, with malolactic fermentation the norm.
Pinot Noir is probably the most frustrating, and at times infuriating, wine grape in the world. However when it is successful, it can produce some of the most sublime wines known to man. This thin-skinned grape which grows in small, tight bunches performs well on well-drained, deepish limestone based subsoils as are found on Burgundy's Côte d'Or.
Pinot Noir is more susceptible than other varieties to over cropping - concentration and varietal character disappear rapidly if yields are excessive and yields as little as 25hl/ha are the norm for some climats of the Côte d`Or.
Because of the thinness of the skins, Pinot Noir wines are lighter in colour, body and tannins. However the best wines have grip, complexity and an intensity of fruit seldom found in wine from other grapes. Young Pinot Noir can smell almost sweet, redolent with freshly crushed raspberries, cherries and redcurrants. When mature, the best wines develop a sensuous, silky mouth feel with the fruit flavours deepening and gamey "sous-bois" nuances emerging.
The best examples are still found in Burgundy, although Pinot Noir`s key role in Champagne should not be forgotten. It is grown throughout the world with notable success in the Carneros and Russian River Valley districts of California, and the Martinborough and Central Otago regions of New Zealand.