Domaine Jean Ginglinger
Jean Ginglinger is based in the central Alsace village of Pfaffenheim which lies 12 kilometres south of Colmar where he cares for 6.5 hectares of prime sites including two Grand Cru vineyards (Steinert and Zinnkoepfle). The family are not recent arrivals having been involved in viticulture here since 1610!!!
The soil here is complex being a mix of limestone of various types including calcareous sandstone. The photo below shows an outcrop of complex limestone in one of Jean's vineyards.
The domaine was converted to biodynamic viticulture in 1997. Jean achieved Ecocert organic certification in 1999 and then, in 2001, biodynamic certification with Demeter. For the past couple of years they have abandoned mechanised vehicles and reverted to horses to do much of the work in the vineyards.
Importantly, since 2003 when they vinified their Pinot Noir Steiner without sulphites they have pursued this ideal for all of their wines and currently 12 out of their 20 cuvees have no added sulphites.
They produce wines from the seven standard white grape varieties of Alsace namely Sylvaner, Riesling, Muscat d'Alsace, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Gewurtztraminer as well as Pinot Noir. He also produces a fine Cremant d'Alsace using Auxerrois Blanc and Pinot Blanc.
Jean is a quiet, humble and passionate man who wants to produce pure wines that reflect the terroir of his very special vineyards.
We mentioned above that Jean has approximately one third of his vines in two vineyards (Steinert and Zinnkoepfle) which are classified as Grand Cru vineyards. He does not, however, submit his wines for Grand Cru classification as the tasting panel has a preference for sweeter-style wines and wines that contain sulphites. Jean likes dryer-style wines and does not want to add sulphites, so he drops the "t" from Steinert for the cuvee names to emphasise that it is not rated as a Grand cru. So we took a photo of Jean in the Steinert vineyard and also dropped the T from the photo.
Domaine Jean Ginglinger Vin d'alsace Pinot Blanc 2015
A pure, tense, energetic Pinot Blanc that we first tried at the annual festival at Chassignolles in the Auvergne this year. Jean was showing his wines to visitors to the festival and was a talking point amongst the wine cognoscenti present.
Pinot Blanc is widely planted in the Alsace as well as in Champagne, Lorraine and Burgundy where it is valued for the minerality and acidity that it provides.
This Pinot Blanc is very food friendly and can be matched to a wide variety of dishes.
Note that the label is from a previous vintage.
RRP: SOLD OUT
Domaine Jean Ginglinger Vin d'Alsace Riesling Lerchenberg 2014
An amazing wine of depth and precision with great floral aromas. This is a Riesling from the Lerchenberg vineyard that has been gently oxidised to give it a unique flavour and amazing tension. The Lerchenberg (the hill of the larks) vineyard is south facing on a moderate slope just a few kilometres north-west of the town of Colmar. The minerality in the wine comes from soils composed of clay, limestone sand and a marl substrate.
This wine is perfect with spicy foods.
RRP: SOLD OUT
Domaine Jean Ginglinger Vin d'Alsace Riesling 2015
This is a dry and almost delicate white wine with hints of stonefruits and an intense minerality derived from the healthy soils which have heaps of microbial activity that allows the absorbtion by the vines of the elements in the mineral-rich soil.
While this is an introductory level Riesling we are very impressed with the texture, the core of restrained acidity and fruit flavour exhibited by this wine.
This is a very good wine at a very good price for such quality.
RRP: SOLD OUT
Domaine Jean Ginglinger Vin d'alsace Pinot Gris 2014
A great example of the Pinot Gris variety with enhanced minerality from the biodynamic practices used by Jean. This is a particularly fine wine reminding us more of an Italian wine made from Pinot Grigio with its beautiful texture and long, lingering effect on the palate. The acidity is restrained allowing the fruit flavours to shine through.
RRP: SOLD OUT
Domaine Jean Ginglinger Vin d'alsace Riesling Steiner Zinnkoepfle 2014
This wine is an elegant, powerful Riesling with grapes sourced from both the Steinert vineyard and the Zinnkoepfle vineyard which lies in a beautiful valley just over the hill from Steinert. The Steinert vineyard lies about 8 kilometres south of the town of Colmar and is one of the highest vineyards in Alsace and benefits from southern exposure.
Both of the vineyards are Grand Cru vineyards so the grapes are of outstanding quality, however Jean does not submit his wines to the appellation authorities because they have a preference for wines with quite a lot of residual sugar which does not appeal to Jean who has a preference for dry wines.
The characteristic of wines made from grapes of this vineyard is the amazing length at the finish. It simply lingers for ages.
The texture of this wine is also characteristic of Jean's winemaking prowess. A beautiful wine of power and elegance.
Domaine Jean Ginglinger Crémant d’Alsace 2013
A beautiful cremant sparkling wine from the Cremant d'Alsace appellation. This appellation was only established in 1976, but has become a very important part of the Alsace wine scene due to the high quality of the sparkling wines produced there.
This wine is made using the Champenoise or Traditionelle method which sees the first fermentation producing a still white wine and then a second fermentation for producing the bubbles. This has yeasty influences and a fine bead. The grapes used to produce this lovely wine are Pinot Blanc (30%) and Auxerrois Blanc (70%). Auxerrois Blanc is known locally as Pinot Auxerrois.
The wine was disgorged in April this year and therefore has had almost three years on lees and had no sulphites added. This makes it a great find because it is only required under appellations laws in Alsace to be on lees for one year.
RRP: SOLD OUT
Domaine Jean Ginglinger Vin d'alsace Pinot Gris Macération 2015
The juice for this wine was left in contact with the skins for a short time to produce what is technically an orange wine. However, because it is Pinot Gris the colour has become a lovely deep pink. There is a slight bitterness at the finish giving it a herbal quality. This is a wonderful food wine which is quite different to the plethora of other orange wines.
This is a wonderful application of skin maceration producing a wine that is perfect to drink right through a meal. It also stands up to hot and spicy foods really well.
RRP: SOLD OUT
Domaine Jean Ginglinger Vin d'alsace Pinot Gris Steiner 2015
The vines from which this wine is made are from the area called Steinert which is a Grand Cru area. Jean, however, does not apply for Grand Cru status because he doesn't like the level of residual sugar required for this appellation.
In this case it is Pinot Gris that has been used to makes this incredibly interesting and complex wine which finished much drier than most wines produced here.
As always with this amazing vineyard the finish on the wine is very, very long. The flavour and the texture of the wine lingers for ages.