France: Alsace

South of Colmar

The wines of the Haut-Rhin from Turckheim to Guebwiller
By Sue Style

This Guide was last updated on 14 March 2011
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Agathe Bursin

Address: 11 Rue de Soultzmatt, 68250 Westhalten
Tel: 03 89 47 04 15  Fax: 03 89 47 04 15
Geo-coordinates:  Latitude: 47:57:29N (47.95796)    Longitude: 7:14:58E (7.24955) 

One of Alsace’s new generation of young winegrowers, Agathe took over her mother’s vineyards and began winemaking from scratch in 2000. She now owns 4ha, having recently acquired a parcel in the sunbaked Zinnkoepfle Grand Cru vineyard above Westhalten. Tastings in the dining room of the family home, with a superb tiled oven in the corner and portraits of her grandparents on the wall, are an education and a delight. Agathe dislikes ‘obvious wines’ – she treasures l’acidité soyeuse (the silky acidity) of her Rieslings, and makes a gloriously – uncharacteristically – fruity Sylvaner (a Parker selection) by keeping yields to a punishingly low 20hl/ha. Restrained exuberance is the hallmark of her Gewurztraminer Lutzeltal (‘a flower that’s already open’), subtly spicy and exotic but not OTT, while her cherry-ripe, meaty Pinot Noir is oak-aged for about 20 months in used Burgundian barrels. One of my favourites is 'As de B',  a juicy, fruity little composition from a small vineyard parcel field-planted with all six Alsace white grape varieties harvested and vinified together, which Agathe describes as ‘un feu d’artifice en arômes’, a firework display of aromas.

Useful information: Appointment essential, and visits only possible after 17.00. English spoken.


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