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The wines of Barmès-Buecher, Alsace, France

Barmes-Beucher isn’t one of the best known names in Alsace, but it deserves to be. From the strong 2002 vintage François Barmès has fashioned a strong line-up of wines, including a brilliant Riesling Grand Cru Steingrubler and two very impressive examples of Pinot Gris. I’m not usually a fan of Gewürztraminer, but the two I tasted here were impressive and balanced. This domaine was formed in the late 1980s and is run along biodynamic lines, with low yields. Prices are very reasonable (indicated in brackets, these include duty but I suspect don't include VAT) – UK agent and retailer is Gauntley (rhone@gauntleywine.com).

Barmès-Buecher Pinot Blanc Rosenberg 2002
Delicious wine. Lovely full nose is rounded and fruity, showing a subtle smokiness. The palate is rounded, rich and fruity with some nuttiness. Very good+ (£7.77)

Barmès-Buecher Riesling Grand Cru Steingrubler 2002
Wonderfully rich aromatic, limey nose with a sweet edge. The palate has a rich texture and lots of fruit, showing a limey, spicy character on the finish. Medium sweet. Very good/excellent 92/100 (£11.44)

Barmès-Buecher Riesling Kruett de Wettolsheim 2002
Intense, limey and spicy with good concentration. Quite elegant. This is dry but with a hint of residual sugar. Very good+ 89/100 (£8.82)

Barmès-Buecher Pinot Gris Rosenberg Silicis 2002
From the higher part of the Rosenberg slope. Savoury, taut nose with some spiciness. The palate is rich and fat-textured with good balance and a creamy mouthfeel. Quite a subtle wine and lovely with it. Very good/excellent 90/100 (£9.61)

Barmès-Buecher Pinot Gris Rosenberg Calcarius 2002
From lower down the slope. Minerally, smoky edge to the savoury nose. Varietally true. The palate is rich and explosive; spicy and thick textured. Quite a bit of residual sugar here in this deliciously expressive wine. Very good/excellent 91/100 (£10.02)

Barmès-Buecher Gewürztraminer Rosenberg 2002
Very perfumed, floral nose showing grapey richness. The palate is well balanced and concentrated. Quite rich but with good balance and not too sweet. Very good/excellent 90/100 (£9.48)

Barmès-Buecher Gewürztraminer Grand Cru Pfersigberg 2002
Quite a delicate perfumed nose. Rich, thick textured palate is quite dense with a herbal edge to the fruit. Savoury finish. Very good+ 89/100 (£13.40) 

see also: tasting notes of Alsace wines

Wines tasted 01/04

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