Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Alsace Pinot Noir

A first for me: Pinot Noir from Alsace. It's not supposed to be the region's forte, but this wine was impressive.

Domaine Muré, Côte de Rouffach, Pinot Noir 2013, Alsace
The town of Rouffach is situated just south of the village of Pfaffenheim where I spent summer 1998 working with a wine-growing family who, like Véronique and Thomas Muré (and his father René), practise biodynamic viticulture.

Translucent edges. Ruby with purplish suggestions. On the nose, quite reticent at first. So, in the decanter it goes for a couple of hours. Finally, something lovely emerges: blackcurrant and herbs, a hint of strawberry. Minty? Definitely chalky.

Bone dry in the mouth. This lends a chalky feel with considerable tannic grip. Feeling almost austere on the one hand, but overtly fruity on the other. Strawberry on day one, metamorphosing into blackcurrant on day two. Medium body, ample concentration. Exceedingly pure. Less mushroomy and "damp autumnal undergrowth" compared to some of its counterparts directly over the Rhine. In this sense, the wine is imbued with a different type of quality based more on fruit and purity. Maybe its personality is linear in the sense of being precise, direct and refreshing (but by no means simplistic). Any wood influence is barely perceptible and merely provides a skeleton-like structure for the fruit to take effect. The finish lingers for some time.

This is the lesser of three Muré Pinot Noirs - the other two in ascending order being "V" and "Clos Saint Landelin". "V" is grown in the Vorbourg grand cru vineyard. The abbreviation is used because Pinot Noir can't be classified as grand cru in Alsace. The renowned Clos Saint Landelin is a lieu-dit situated within the Vorbourg grand cru and owned exclusively by the Muré family.