Typically round and rich: think plum jam, caramel and apple compote with warmth and spice
Food match: Oriental, spicy, fish, shellfish, aperitif
Located in: Pfaffenheim, Alsace.
At the forefront of the biodynamic movement Jean-Pierre Frick makes wines that are scrupulously natural. Frick converted in 1981 after having already turned to organics in 1970. Altogether he farms 12 hectares of vineyards, in several plots, a third of which is rented. Wines are fermented solely with indigenous yeasts and there is no acidification or chaptalisation. Each year, a couple of the cuvées are made without any sulphur dioxide additions.
From promoting biodiversity in the vineyard to hand harvesting all the grapes to using little and even no sulphur during the winemaking to ageing in large old oak casks, Jean-Pierre aspires to capture the essence of the grape and also the flavour of the terroir.
Grape variety: 100% Pinot Gris
Use organic and biodynamic methods
Suitable for both vegetarians and vegans
History: Domaine Pierre Frick has been handed down throughout the family for twelve generations and now covers 12 ha of vineyards. It is managed by Jean-Pierre and Chantal Frick, and their son Thomas Frick.
Soils: meaning literally “before or in front of the mountain”, Vorbourg is a southeast-facing vineyard with limestone and marl topsoil on a base of sandstone. It is located between the towns of Westhalten to the West and Rouffach to the East. The earliest records of Vorbourg date back to 762. One of the sunniest and driest sites in Alsace, it often has botrytis and can be used to make late harvest wines (this cuvée is dry.)
Viticulture: various biodynamic preparations are applied according to the cosmic rhythms of the Maria Thun calendar (this is the guide that most biodynamic growers use to help them do things at the right time, from vineyard work to racking to bottling). 10–15 tons/hectare of compost are spread every five years or so to maintain soil fertility. Biodynamic treatments are supplemented with other sprays, where these are essential. Bordeaux mixture is used to combat mildew, but less than 1 kg/copper per hectare each year is applied. Sulphur is used to combat odium. Bacillus thuriguensis, a bacterium, is used to protect some of the more vulnerable varieties from leaf-roller moths, where the typical biodynamic preparations would otherwise not be effective.
Winemaking: harvesting is done by hand, which is expensive, but is important for ‘the social side experienced during harvest and the search of quality through grape selection’. In the winery whole-bunch pressing is used, the juice is left to settle overnight. In this cuvee the wine macerates on the skins. Ferment is ambient with indigenous yeasts. Since 1998 there has been no chaptalisation here. Old oak casks, averaging 3000 litres capacity, are used for maturation. No filtration, no fining agents, no SO2 added at any point.