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Albert Mann 'Clos de la Faille' Pinot Noir
A ruby red color, beautiful shine. The expressive nose gradually opens up to aromas of red berries, blackcurrant and blackberries. Airing amplifies this fruity character and reveals a fine mineral note. The palate is fine and delicate, almost velvety. Pure wine, with a vertical profile endowed with a beautiful freshness and a long persistence. Its silhouette is well structured, supported by a nice fruitiness that ends on an appetizing finish. Winery Note
Jacky Barthelmé is the winemaker and part-owner of the Albert Mann domaine in Wettolsheim. He is about seven feet tall, built like Usain Bolt and used to be a basketballer of note. And he is a great winemaker. Being a pinot-nut, he has lots of friends in Burgundy whom he visits regularly. Being winemakers, they get together and share bottles, but they weren’t that interested in a pinot from Alsace.
On one visit he said he wanted to contribute a bottle under one condition: that all wines would be served blind. This duly proceeded, and Jacky’s wine was unanimously chosen not only as the best wine of the tasting, but identified as a Burgundy. It was one of his own Albert Mann pinots from Alsace. I’d like to have been a fly on the wall when it was unmasked.
Seriously, I sympathise with those Burgundy winemakers because I would probably have been just as misled. But having tasted Jacky’s four 2012 pinot noirs I am a believer. We began with his Clos de la Faille, which is from a plot next to the famous grand cru vineyard Hengst. 15 year-old vines, 40% whole bunches, 10% new oak, 35 hectolitres per hectare yield: a real eye-opener. Lovely.
Like all Jacky’s pinots, it is a refined style, with delicacy favoured over bigness. A cynic might retort that they can’t actually get much body in Alsace pinot noir. Wrong. Huon Hooke, The Real Review
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