2010 Domaine Barmes-Buecher Gewürztraminer Herrenweg
Expert Rating
WS 93 points
(Read the full review below)
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François Barmès Wine Spectator's 93-Point TOP THREE Under-$25 French Whites of the Year

François Barmès was 5'7" tall, a rock-solid 175 pounds, with broad shoulders, a healthy belly, and a still healthier farmer's tan. Barmès whites were known throughout the world of wine for their unparalleled mix of concentration, power and heft.

An athlete in his youth, François found that once he took over the family estate in Wettolsheim, he had no time for cardio training and claimed that his daily vineyard workout was sufficiently rigorous. But as the winemaker prepared for his 50th birthday, he made a resolution. He purchased an expensive mountain bike and started riding in the forest every other day, climbing the steep hillsides out of town, heading up into the Vosges mountains.

But once he began riding, like most other activities in his life, François Barmès couldn't stop. His every-other-day routine became an every-day obsession. Then Barmès made another more startling lifestyle change. The Alsatian had always had a teenager's appetite, knocking back seven-course prix fixe dinners with alacrity. Now, our old friend called to tell us, he had sworn off sugar. No more patisserie. No more baguettes. Incredibly, the guy was going paleo!

When we next visited Wettolsheim, we barely recognized Barmès, his body chiseled, his bright blue eyes somehow shining even more brightly. He must have dropped 25 pounds, though not an ounce of muscle. For six months, after working his standard 10-hour days, François had been hopping on his VTT for a 90-minute tear through the countryside above Colmar. Even more surprisingly, as his eating habits changed, so did his taste in his wine. In lieu of farming for maximum concentration, he was experimenting with techniques to temper the often-high sugar content of the grapes, erring on the side of balance.

Then, as if Nature had been observing the changes in physique, temperament, and taste, Alsace was delivered what many now believe to be the finest vintage in decades. The 2010 harvest was small above Wettolsheim, as were the berries on the spicy Gewürztraminer clusters. François Barmès turned out the most riveting white wines of his career in what would tragically prove his last vintage.

When we first tasted the 2010 Gewürztraminer Herrenweg with François before the mountain bike accident that took his life, Barmès was beaming like never before. The most charming smile on the French wine trail was somehow even more engaging as he swirled this magnificently exotic, golden-hued white. He smelled the complex mix of lemon zest and lavender, white peach and spicy ginger. Rich, plush and almost impossibly compact on the attack, packed with apricot and peach, despite the extreme concentration of the vintage, this brilliant Gewürztraminer remains marvelously crisp and vibrant, buttressed by a riveting 7 grams per liter of natural acidity!

Tasting Notes

2010 Domaine Barmes-Buecher Gewürztraminer Herrenweg
"Rich and mouthwatering, this leans toward an off-dry style, with lush, lightly honeyed flavors of guava, dried pineapple, apricot and candied kumquat, finding fine balance thanks to well-meshed, piercing acidity. The lasting finish is aromatic, with floral and smoky mineral notes. Drink now through 2028."
93 points -- Wine Spectator

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    • This is a Pre-Arrival Offer: Weather permitting, wine will begin shipping in April, 2014.

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