Individually packaged in a wooden box. Éric de Saint-Victor carries on his family's proud tradition of crafting an aged, artisanal Marc de Bandol from the appropriate years. Distilled using the 'méthode Bourguignonne', this exceptionally matured Marc is crafted from the pomace of pressed Mourvèdre grapes using a small, wood-fired copper still. Only the heart of the run is collected for ageing and each "pass" produces about 25 litres of spirit.
Pibarnon then mature their Marc for a whopping 20 years in old 418-litre Armagnac casks made from that region's Chêne Rouvre oak. By the time the spirit is bottled (unfiltered), it has mellowed into an extraordinarily complex, deep and finely drawn liquid that coats the palate in complex flavours of raisin, plum and prunes, with a slight liquorice note. Opulently textured, very complex and with a very long, expansive finish that suggests both mixed dried fruits and all kinds of spices.
“I visit a lot of wine estates, but this is one visit I will remember for a long time. Weinbach, based in Kientzheim, is one of the star domaines of Alsace.” Jamie Goode, wineanorak.com
“I have already nailed my colours to the mast by listing Domaine Weinbach in my 100 Most Iconic Wine Estates book. I am always absolutely mesmerised by the thrilling wines from this Domaine.” Matthew Jukes
“With the Grand Cru Schlossberg Cuvée Ste-Catherine in my glass, for a moment I become lost in the memories of earlier vintages poured in this room… In spite of it being the most powerful and concentrated of [Weinbach’s dry Rilesings], it still has a certain delicacy, rather than flexing its muscles. And then we taste back though some of those earlier vintages, and I find the wines acquire a filigree with age, which makes their beauty seem timeless.” Stuart Pigott, Best White Wine on Earth: The Riesling Story
Domaine Weinbach is universally regarded as one of the greatest producers of Alsace and therefore by proxy, one of the greatest ‘aromatic’ Domaines in the world. Yet it is a Domaine that remains incredibly grounded, refreshingly free from overarching self-importance and pomposity, and it is a Domaine that produces an endless stream of wines that are as delicious as they are profound.
Domaine Weinbach farms 27 hectares of vineyards, predominantly Grand Cru. The most famous terroir is the majestic Schlossberg hill, closely followed by the walled Clos de Capucins; a Weinbach fiefdom that lies around the house and its cellars. But we should not forget the majestic Furstentum Grand Cru which, in the gifted hands of the Faller family, produces some of the world’s most profound Gewürztraminer. The Fallers have farmed organically for some time; however, in the late 1990’s they began the conversion towards biodynamics, a move which was complete in time for the 2005 vintage.
In terms of the style, the Weinbach/Faller wines offer a remarkable confluence of intensity and clarity, of power and finesse (as contradictory as that sounds). There is also clarity and homogeneity when it comes to the levels of dryness (a rarity in Alsace these days). Basically all of the Rieslings are dry unless they are late harvest. The Gewürztraminer’s will all have residual sugar but this will be balanced by the phenolics and natural acidity of the grape. The carnival of layered, rocky, and at times bewilderingly complex wines they offer are something to behold. Charge your glasses.