Ostertag Riesling Heissenberg 2020


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“2016 is the first vintage after André Ostertag’s great 2015 and the second since his son Arthur has been involved more deeply. André has just announced that he will step back a bit to fight against his Parkinson disease, which he has been living with for ten years. In August this year, right before the harvest, his treatment proved insufficient and required André to stay in hospital for several weeks. For the first time since 1980, he wasn’t able to harvest at the domaine, and his son had to replace him overnight. However, during our meeting in late October, André said that “from a picker’s perspective, no harvest had ever been as calm and serene than this 2018 harvest.”

In his typical calm and quiet way, André said, “Arthur’s influence is growing more and more, and his mark on the 2017s is already very obvious.” He added that “the next generation is terrific and will keep writing the history of the domaine in its own way.” In his letter to friends and partners a few days later, he asked us all to “prepare to be surprised by this new wave blossoming at the domaine with contagious energy!”

The whole team of The Wine Advocate—and surely all of our readers who have been lucky enough to drink the wines from Domaine Ostertag for so many years—are wishing André Ostertag good luck and success to what he calls cultivating his “inner hillsides in order to come back as soon as possible with renewed energy, ready to support the domaine’s third generation without pushing too hard.” André’s spirit, will and energy has always been great. We don’t have any doubts that we will taste with him again soon. Until then, take care André, and take our very best and warmest wishes.

Ostertag’s 2016s are formidable! They are not as rich and massively structured as the great and age-worthy 2015s, but in terms of freshness, mineral expression, elegance and finesse, they are absolutely fabulous and by no means lesser wines compared to the prestigious 2015 vintage. Namely, the Pinots Gris wines are coming out great this year. They are not only dry but also full of freshness and tension, so perfect wines to have with food. The Grand Cru Muenchberg is a great wine and worth cellaring for many years. This is also the Riesling from the same terroir that is, once again, one of the finest I have tasted from the 2016 vintage in Alsace this far. I had it again in London a couple of days ago and enjoyed it during the whole evening. This wine took me on a journey, telling me about mirabelles, weathered stones and dried herbs. It is a gorgeous wine that I had to buy immediately. However, the 2016 Heissenberg from a “hot” gneiss and sandstone terroir, is also a great Riesling with unrivaled elegance, finesse and subtleness. If you can’t manage to get a Munechberg or would like to compare it with another great terroir wine, this is the one to buy. As I told you last year, Ostertag is also becoming one of Alsace’s finest red wine producers. Keep the 2015 for many years, and try the 2016, which is even finer and fresher. As a Pinot lover, I couldn’t resist it here as well…”

Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate (239)