Domaine Amelie & Charles Sparr Pinot Noir Jardin d’Eden Altenberg 2020


Excellent pinot noir from the more elegant and refined end of the scale.




Domaine Amelie & Charles Sparr




Pinot Noir






From a single site in the village of Sigolsheim, growing on limestone at 250 meters. Hand harvested, before the grapes are gently taken off their stalks and given a 20 day cold maceration. Fermentations use natural yeasts, and the wines are aged in wood, with little new. Such good colour, a glowing ruby in the glass, while the nose sings with a mélange of fruit and flowers. Taut and focused on the palate, with a fine line of acidity and lots of cool fruit, crisply ripe, really well balanced, and perfumed on the finish, this is excellent pinot noir from the more elegant and refined end of the scale. As the note below mentions, this is best decanted to allow its full perfume to show.

*When first opened and poured, there was a bit of a new-barrel smell and on the palate, new-cut box-leaf hedges dominated like a stately-home head gardener got hold of the wine and topiaried it into discipline. Nervous. Highly strung, but like an over-tight piano wire dusted with cedar shavings. I wondered if it just needed time or was simply too over-wrought. Three days later, I came back to it, and the wine had opened like a peony in full unfurled beauty. Heady, the fruit sweet and ample, soaring like a soprano voice in a cathedral, but the wine still retaining its racehorse structure and energy. I’d strongly recommend decanting it you’re going to drink it now, possibly even opening it the day before.

17.5/20 Tamlyn Currin /

About the Domaine

Based in the village of Wettolsheim, Amelie and Charles Sparr are ‘children of the vine’, both from Alsace wine families. Charles comes from a famous negotiant family, while Amelie’s family owned a domaine nearby. When the negotiant business was sold, Charles kept 12ha of vineyards and eventually them with Amelie’s, and their new project was born. Together they have 18ha of vines, including sites in four Grand Cru. Amelie’s family had long farmed biodynamically, and it was clear from the beginning this is the direction they would follow. The domaine was certified by Demeter in 2019. They harvest everything by hand, into small containers to protect the grapes. In the winery they use whole clusters for the whites and a gentle pressing to give the best juice. Fermentations are natural, and of no set length – each cuvée finishes in its own time, before the wines spend around 9 months on the lees. No sulphur is used until a touch before bottling. The reds are de-stemmed and see barrels, but very little new oak is used.


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