The 2019 Domaine Ansen Lerchensand Sylvaner is a skin-fermented dry white wine from a single, south-facing hillside called Lerchensand. This narrow hill has rich clay soils that are underlined by a 210-million-year-old seabed of salt and marl that stores the summer’s warmth for a long vegetation period, giving incredible depth and complexity to the vines above.
Alcohol Grade: 13%
Aging/ Vinification: After a hand-harvest and de-stemming, natural fermentation began in stainless steel with the skins for about 12 days until a gentle pressing back into tank. With 5 months on the lees, the wine was bottled without any sulfites and left to rest for a few months before released to the market.
Residual Sugar: 9 g./L,
Best to have it: 5-8ºC
Size: 750 ml
The Winery: Domaine Ansen
In the northern most hills of the Alsace AOC of eastern France, Domaine Ansen has been a family of grape growers, fruit orchard farmers, cattle raisers, and all things in between, for over 400 years. In the mid-nineties, Daniel Ansen set out to learn the trade of winemaking, spending time not only in Alsace, but also Australia, the United States, and Bordeaux, where he went to enology school. In 2010 he moved back into the old family house with his wife Karine and took over the fields from his father, looking forward to converting everything to organic viticulture, and starting to make wine from their own grapes that had always gone to a local cooperative. Slowly expanding in Alsace’s divers land, Daniel farms 8.5 hectares, in 40 plots (some are as small as 2 rows of vines), to 8 varieties, on 3 different soil types (black clay, limestone, and sandstone). Careful hand harvesting, the use of stainless steel for natural fermentations and aging, and very little (to zero) sulfite use in the finished wines, he lets each grape express their natural characteristics to the fullest, be it laser acidity, sweet ripe fruit, or a combination of both.
The ground is clay with red sandstone. Added with cool climate conditions, it brings acidity to the wine. That makes it food friendly and promised to a long ageing. The slope is moderate. The field is protected from northern winds thanks to a sandstone cliff. This place is part of Wangen “horst”. The underground makes this wine unique because the stones were used to build the cathedral in Strasbourg