Tuesday, September 14, 2021

2019 Les Vins Pirouettes Eros By Vincent: An Orange Wine From Alsace

When you look at the tall, slender bottle, the wine appears to be a Rosé, yet it was produced from only white grapes. In fact, it's what is commonly called an "orange" wine, a skin-contact wine, and it's delicious and intriguing. Many excellent wines comes from Alsace, and this is certainly one of them.

Domaine Christian Binner is over 250 years old, having been established in 1770. The estate now owns vineyards in the Kaefferkopf, Schlossberg and Wineck-Schlossberg Grands Crus and other parcels in Ammerschwihr, with most vines averaging 35 years old, and the rest between 60 and 100 years old. It has been sustainable farmed for about 35 years and in 2012, the winery built an eco-friendly winery, whose roof is covered in soil. They produce a wide range of wines, from Crémant d’Alsace to Late-Harvest.

As a related endeavor, Christian Binner established the Les Vins Pirouettes label as a means for small, organic and Biodynamic grape growers, to produce their own wines instead of selling off their grapes. There are currently 14 grape growers in this project, and their first name is always placed on the label. I haven't discovered yet why the label doesn't include their full name. The grape growers are assisted by the enologists Xavier Couturier and Pierre Sanchez,  and collectively produce about 80,000 bottles annually. 

The name Pirouettes was chosen to "symbolize the fun they’re having" as well as  because “these wines are like beautiful artistic figures, the result of certain know-how and mastery. Pirouette is a gesture of freedom, emotion, and joy,”  All of their wines are natural, using spontaneous fermentation, and there is no fining, filtration, or added sulfur. 

The 2019 Les Vins Pirouettes Eros By Vincent (about $25) is a blend, of 20 year old grapes from a Biodynamic vineyard, of 40% Pinot Gris, 40% Riesling, and 20% Sylvaner. The grapes are fermented on the skins for about 25 days, and the pink color of the wine comes from the Pinot Gris, which is a pink-colored variety. The wine is also aged on the lees in large foudre for about eight months. 

On the nose, there's an intriguing aroma of spice, citrus, and apples, although there are hints of even more. And on the palate, there's a compelling and complex melange of flavors, such a joy in the mouth. It is primarily savory, with baking spices, pepper, black tea, and more, combined with a variety of fruits, from citrus to pineapple. It is crisp, dry, well-balanced and with a pleasing, lengthy finish. Each sip brings something a little different to your mouth, and this is a wine you can slowly savor and enjoy. I paired the wine with some quail breasts and it was a very fine pairing. 

This is a wine I'd highly recommend for any adventurous wine lover. 

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