wa2.gif (4241 bytes)

abut9.gif (3095 bytes)

abut12.gif (3207 bytes)
abut10.gif (3636 bytes)

abut11.gif (4039 bytes)


The wines of Domaine Albert Mann

13 Rue du Château, 68920 Wettolsheim, France
Tel: +33 3 89 80 62 00 Fax: +33 3 89 80 34 23
E-mail: vins@mann-albert.com

This well regarded Alsace domaine is run by two brothers, Maurice and Jacky Barthelmé in the village of Wettolsheim, near Colmar. Maurice, who took over here in 1984, is married to the grand-daughter of the late Albert Mann who gave his name to the domaine. It’s not a huge operation: they have 19 hectares in all, but five of these are in five different Grand Cru vineyards and a further two are in Lieux-dits. They’ve taken a quality-minded approach, and say all the right things about respect for the soil and the importance of low yields. I was pretty impressed with this line-up, and in particular with the wonderful Schlossberg Riesling 1999, which is a brilliantly tightly-focused, mineralic interpretation of this great grape. UK stockists: Lay & Wheeler, Noel Young and Oddbins (just a small selection). UK agent is Acquisition des Vins (Phone: 01737 2129111).

Albert Mann’s major grand cru holdings

Schlossberg (1.4 ha)
Located between Kayersberg and Kientzheim, altitude 200-300 m. Steep slopes, which have to be terraced. Soil: granitized sandstones and shales from the Devonian. Size 80.28 ha, planted principally with Riesling, but also a bit of Gewürztraminer, Tokay Pinot Gris and Muscat. Characterized by ageworthy, fine wines with a richly floral bouquet. A historical vineyard, mentioned in texts from the 15th century.

Furstentum (1.7 ha)
At the heart of the Kayersberg valley, this is a relatively steep hillside vineyard of 30.5 ha, facing south/south-east. The brown calcareous soil is a marl calcareous sandstone from the lower Dogger period. Dates from prior to 1330, when the first mention was recorded. Riesling Gewürztraminer and Tokay Pinot Gris are the varieties cultivated here.

Steingrubler (70 ares)
Located west of Wettolsheim, this is a south-east facing hillside between 280 and 350 metres in elevation, covering 22.95 ha. The clay sandy soils cover a marl soil and calcareous conglomerate, partially covered with scree and granite. The upper part is more sandy (suited to Riesling), while the lower is more limestone (ideal for Geürztraminer).

Hengst (85 ares)
Hengst translates as ‘stallion’. South of Wintzenheim, this is a south-east facing hill at an elevation of 270 to 360 metres. Its 75.78 ha are dominated by Gewürztraminer, with some Tokay Pinot Gris and Riesling.  Shallow, stony, mostly calcareous soils produce wines with great ageing potential. Historical records trace vine growing here back to the 9th century.

The wines

Pinot Auxerrois Vieilles Vignes 2000
Intriguing, attractive nose: slightly smoky, bready and spicy, but subtle. The palate is quite broad, with good intensity, and it finishes dry. A lovely, full flavoured white wine with good balance. Very good+

Muscat 2000
The lovely rich floral, grapey nose is quite exotic. Rich palate, but not out of balance. Spicy finish with some residual sugar (not bone dry). A deliciously rich style, this is a very tasty wine. Very good/excellent

Gewürztraminer 2000
Gently floral nose with a sweet, slightly confected ‘turkish delight’ character. Perhaps a little bit too perfumed? The palate is rich and grapey and quite pretty. Not too much residual sugar and nicely textured. Very good

Riesling Schlossberg Grand Cru 1999
From a Grand Cru vineyard with granite soil. Lovely, intense minerally nose with complex lime fruit, a touch of honey and some spice. Rich but bone dry palate with lovely mineral extract and intensity. Quite tight with good acid structure; good potential for development. Excellent

Tokay Pinot Gris Furstentum Grand Cru 1999
This is a fat, dense style of Pinot Gris. The attractive nose shows great balance: it displays smokiness and a bit of minerality, without being too fat. The palate is concentrated with an opulent, rich texture. Full-on with lots of residual sugar, yet balanced. Very good/excellent

Gewürztraminer Steingrubler Grand Cru 2000
Quite an intense, perfumed nose displaying some eastern spice character. Rich, full grapey palate with quite a bit of residual sugar. Good concentration; still in balance with nice acidity. Very good+

Tokay Pinot Gris Altenbourg Selection de Grains Nobles 1998
Wonderful apricot and honey nose: complex and rich with a mineral edge. Hugely concentrated fat palate with super balance. Complex and grapey, honeyed and with spicy acidity on the finish. Lots of botrytis character. Very good/excellent 

Pinot Noir Grand H 2000
I’ve yet to be really convinced by an Alsace red, but this one is an interesting effort, even if it’s not particularly varietally true. Surprisingly deep colour. Very full nose with spicy fruit, toasty oak, and notes of coffee and tar. Rich, roasted, toasty palate with lots of barrique character. A tasty, rich style: modern, full and spicy. Very good+

Wines tasted November 2001

more recent notes:

Albert Mann Pinot Blanc Auxerrois 2002 Alsace
Fresh, open, fruity and grapey with a slightly sweet honeyed character and subtle herbiness. Fresh and grapey with a bit of spice too. Overall this is dry but there’s some sweetness to the fruit. Impressive and expressive with great balance. Very good/excellent 90/100 (Oddbins £9.99) 05/04  

Albert Mann Tokay Pinot Gris Grand Cru Hengst 2002 Alsace, France
30 g/litre residual sugar. Very ripe, sweet open nose with lovely typicity. The palate is rich textured with concentrated, soft, sweet fruit showing melon and pear notes. Lovely. Very good/excellent 94/100 (£16.50 Waitrose) 04/05

Albert Mann Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Furstentum Vieilles Vignes 2002 Alsace, France
32 g/l residual sugar. Perfumed but savoury lychee nose. Intense, concentrated palate is rich textured with lots of sweetness. Perfectly balanced. Very good/excellent 93/100 (£17.50 Waitrose) 04/05

Albert Mann Tokay Pinot Gris Selection de Grains Nobiles Altenbourg ‘Le Tri’ 2001 Alsace, France
Intense, sweet spicy nose of complex peach and apricot. Super-sweet intense palate with amazing fatness, richness and length. Great balance despite the sweetness: a remarkable wine. 135 g/l residual sugar, 7.3 g/l total acidity, 12.3 % alcohol. Excellent 95/100 (£35 Waitrose) 04/05

Back to top