One of those wines you’re r-e-a-l-l-y not quite sure what you’re getting into. A notable *natural* winery, employing ALL the cool keywords: Sustainable, Organic, Biodynamic, Natural, Low-intervention, and of course extremely low sulfur additions or even sans soufre. I know enough French to deduce it’s an ‘orange wine’, and checking the specs confirms it to be a Pinot Gris–the ORIGINAL orange wine and classically my favorite variety for such treatment.
It’s dark. It’s very dark. It’s reddish-amber, glowing dusty pink at the core and ruby grapefruit at the edge. But it’s dark, and even bottled in flint hock, the contents are not transparent. Chilled to 52° and allowed to gently warm over the course of tasting, it shows a strong nose of dusty vegetal, a viral green-briar rich with weedy sap and garden hose. The amount of funky cellar-floor can NOT be under-estimated, wet hay and slight jasmine and honeysuckle floral reaching shyly–but decisively–around a bouquet which will surely send Napa-Cab-bro and Paso-Rhone-Ranger hurling to the gutter. And there-in lies it’s charm.
Fruity rasp controls the entry, an almost ripasso mental-vision constructs where strong, grainy dialects appear in a clean, watery carrier. Bitter and strong–not even particularly low-alcohol–while charmingly refreshing, it presents a deceptive middle-ground between cool-climate light red and rich white. Sweet and light throughout attack, brilliant green strawberry and pomegranate pith vie with good acid for dry, chalky superiority. More rich grapefruit introduces the tannin, the achingly raspy finish telling the whole story.
A remarkable wine, one which will confuse the 99 and titillate the open-minded. And an absolute BABY, eager to go some time in the cellar despite its refreshing aura.
2020 CHARLES ET PHILIPPE BRAND ‘Fleurs Maceration’ Pinot Gris Alsace France 14.0