Domaine Valentine Zusslin

From the basic Sylvaner to the Grand Cru Riesling these are truly classy and enthralling wines. The Pinot Noir Harmonie is without doubt the most attractive example I have tasted from the region. Historically the area around Rouffach, (Domaine Zusslin is situated in the neighbouring village of Orschwihr), was renowned for the quality of its red wines and domaines today are still proud to emphasise this fact. However, I have tended to find that the best examples are often over extracted and over oaked, lacking any real pleasure or finesse. This cuvee however, really does lives up to the name it was given by our host, Marie Zusslin, to reflect its’ incredibly ‘harmonious’ character.

Marie Zusslin is in charge of the marketing whilst her brother Jean-Paul is now responsible for the viticulture and vinification. They represent the 13th generation to run the Zusslin domaine and are quite obviously pushing the estate to the forefront of the appellation. It was however their father who first decided to convert their 13 hectares to biodynamic viticulture in 1997. The domaine was fully certified biodynamic in 2000, which was also Jean-Paul’s first vintage. The majority of the vinification is carried out in large foudre and the wines generally always do their malo-lactic fermentation although this is not aided. The Zusslins do not look for over extraction but for purity and finesse with a good reflection of terroir. They are obviously succeeding. This is a really exciting addition to our portfolio and indeed the cellar of any discerning imbiber!
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