If one of the greatest aspects of wine is in its communal enjoyment, ‘Les Vins Pirouettes’ takes this notion to the next level. Neither a négoce project nor a ‘traditional’ co-op, Les Vins Pirouettes is a collaborative range of wines meant to showcase some of the greatest aspects of the Alsatian terroir through the lens of steadfastly natural vignerons/vigneronnes from as far north in the region as Rosheim (just south of Strasbourg) and as far south as Obermorschwihr (just south of Colmar). Christian Binner, one of the longtime advocates and pioneers of ‘natural’ wines’ prevalence and popularization in the region headed up this newish (2017) project to showcase the wonderful vineyards sprinkled throughout the north-south sleeve between the Vosges Mountains and the German border where rain is scant, and chestnuts and grapes and churches people the land. Many of the growers who collaborate with Binner in the Pirouettes adventure you may no doubt know from their own lines of wines (Jean-Marc Dreyer, Julien Albertus of Kumpf et Meyer, Eric Kamm, and in the case of this cuvée, Stéphane Bannwarth). It is a project borne out by one of their maxims: “Because in this adventure, we have fun, we have a lot of fun!” This spirit of friendship among devoted experts shines inside these pretty bottles.
Vinification: Organic and biodynamic Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Auxerrois, Pinot Blanc and Muscat, grown on limestone and calcareous soils. Grapes are hand-harvested, destemmed and fermented in stainless steel. After a few months aging on the lees, the wine is bottled unfined, unfiltered with no additional sulphur.
Tasting: A fresh, aromatic white from Christian Binner’s team in Alsace. Gorgeously aromatic on the nose: tropical fruits, florals and lychee. The palate has a touch of residual CO2 (which will blow off with a shake of the bottle if that’s not your thing), and tastes of ripe pineapple and clementine flesh. A hint of bitterness traces the back of the palate. Serve cold alongside a Sichuan Chinese food or fajitas.