Fascinating bone dry Riesling from the south facing Grand Cru Sommerberg, floral and elegant
Viticulture was first recorded at Niedermorschwihr in 1214, and the name of Sommerberg was jealously reserved for this particular vineyard from 17th century onwards.
The Biecher family have been making wine in Alsace since 1776. Their cellar in the village of Saint-Hippolyte has been in near constant use since then and is ideally located right in the heart of Alsace, in the foothills of the Vosges. Alsace is an interesting region as the traditions are a blend of German and French: wines such as Riesling, Pinot Blanc and Gewurztraminer are most at home here.
The wines of Jean Biecher et Fils largely follow the Alsace style, and have helped cement their position as one of the leading producers in the region. While tradition is an important element to their winemaking, the cellar at Jean Biecher et Fils hasn’t been left in the 18th Century. They have worked tirelessly to keep their production facility at the cutting edge of modern technology. This has enabled the family to have a range that extends from modern and fruit driven wines, to Alsace Grand Cru classifications. The advances in technology at their cellar has meant the family have been able to focus on improvements in the vineyard with a number of their wines being produced from plots that have been certified organic.
The family believe in responsible winemaking from vineyard to cellar and the most efficient way they are able to reduce their environmental impact is through responsible farming of their grapes. The organic vineyards are never fertilised using chemical or synthetic fertilisers, while pests are kept at bay through natural means like growing bushes to attract predators. Jean Biecher et Fils believe that by maintaining the ecosystems in their vineyards, elements that are traditionally difficult to manage will eventually become self-sustaining. As one of the largest producers of organic wines in the region, they are clearly doing something right.
Tasting Note: Lovely, intense minerally nose with complex lime fruit, a touch of honey and some spice. Rich but bone dry palate with lovely mineral extract and intensity. Quite tight with good acid structure; good potential for development.
Critics: Jancis Robinson 16.5+/20 (2015)