About this WINE
Domaine Andre Ostertag
Today one of Alsace’s most famous and respected names, André Ostertag could hardly be called a run-of-the-mill Alsace winemaker. He first made a name for himself in 1983, when his Muenchberg Pinot Gris was denied the honour of being labelled as such – having dared to age it in oak, contrary to local tradition. Ever since then, the estate has been pushing the appellation’s boundaries, constantly experimenting and innovating to coax the ultimate expression of terroir from each of its sites.
Ostertags first put down their winemaking roots in Alsace with three hectares in 1966, with André the second generation to make the wines. He studied in Beaune where he struck up a long and lasting friendship with Dominique Lafon of Meursault before returning to Epfig.
The estate has been farmed biodynamically since 1997, with a focus on low yields and ensuring maximum ripeness from every plot. While the estate’s wines tend to have a higher-than-average level of alcohol, it is always impeccably integrated and almost unnoticeable.
As of the 2017 vintage, André has stepped aside – handing the winemaking reins over to his son Arthur. Arthur has travelled the world to learn his trade and worked with his father for several vintages before stepping up to the plate.
The estate’s Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir is aged in oak barrels, in the style of Burgundy, and on their lees. The Sylvaner, Muscat, Gewurztraminer, and all the Rieslings are aged in 100% stainless steel. All the wines are remarkable and amazingly age-worthy.
A white grape of uncertain origin that is planted in Alsace and more widely in Germany. In Alsace where it is known as Sylvaner, it is gradually being replaced by Pinot Blanc and Riesling - what is left over usually ends up being blended with other varieties and labelled Edelzwicker or being bottled as AC Alsace.
In Germany it represents around 10% of the total plantings and for years and it had a reputation for high acidity, neutral wines, low in aroma and fruit. However today much better wines are being produced through selection of better sites, lower yields, and crucially through harvesting at optimum ripeness - if unripe Sylvaner makes an exceedingly green and mean wine. The very best examples are from Franken.