Founded in 1958, La Cave du Vieil Armand is a co-op of 100 growers that tend
to vineyard plots distributed throughout the southern regions of Alsace. By local
standards, this is a small group, though one which favours delivery of premium
offerings over production volume. One demonstrative indicator is the willingness
to cellar their wines indefinitely – until they’re deemed to be fully mature. This is
certainly the case here, with a Pinot Blanc release that’s from a 2009 vintage!
With a history traceable to 1230, one of their sub-brands: Chateau Ollwiller is
considered to be one of only 2 properties to have birthed Alsacian wine-making
traditions in the Middle Ages. Originally overseen by the wine fief: the Count of
Ferrette, the Château’s vineyards cover 25 hectares on the elevated slopes of
the Le Vieil Armand (‘Old Armand’), a rocky spur in the Vosges mountains. Soil
composition is largely made up of marl and sandstone on a limestone base that
lends an aromatic complexity and minerality to the vine stock grown here.
Within this intriguing property is the so-called ‘Clos de la Tourelle’, a dedicated
sub-plot planted with only Pinot Blanc grapes. Punctuated by an ancient stone
watch tower, the single-vineyard nature of this bottling is iconoclastic both in its
geographical setting, vinicultural character, as well as, its classic, ‘flûte’ shaped
bottle. The variety is often referred to as the workhorse grape of Alsace and has
an undeserved reputation as being sometimes wanting in terms of a distinctive
flavor profile. This is perhaps missing the point as far as appreciating the subtler
charms that this very well-made varietal bottling has to offer. Produced with cold
and slow fermentation in stainless steel tanks with no oak in the aging, this very
typical Alsatian style yields a natural spiciness to compliment the bright, natural
blonde and crisp acidity – making them perfect wines to pair with lighter foods.
Grand Gold winner at 2013 Concours International de Lyon – buy at least 2!
CHATEAU OLLWILLER CLOS DE LA TOURELLE PINOT BLANC 2009
VINTAGES – LCBO Product #377788 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 16.95
Sugar Content Descriptor: D
Made in: Alsace, France
By: Cave du Vieil Armand
Release Date: Jun 21, 2014
This wine has an intriguing tartness and a firm acidity with apple, pineapple and
sweet lemon flavours in the foreground. Try serving as a well chilled apéritif with
soft cheeses, summer salads, poultry and fish dishes.