The Brand Grand Cru is a vineyard that has an old history and strong reputation. Local poets and wine ‘gourmets’ in the 17th century used to classify it amongst the 3 best vineyards in Alsace. Its solar facing, poor but mineral rich granitic soil and situation in the driest part of Alsace have certainly contributed to the quality and originality of its wines. However, this situation comes at a price. Brand can only be exceptional if the vines are old enough (old vignerons would say well above 30 years old) and yield only a small crop. These old vines are planted at high density and produce fabulous grapes, totally not concerned by droughts or excess rainfalls! In 2016, the grapes were healthy, ripened early (an exception in that vintage) and the wine fermented slowly but the yeasts went to the end of their task! Brand can often be harvested slightly overripe, leading towards a more gentle/richer style, but that is not the case here.
2/2018: pale yellow/gold colour. The first nose, after opening the bottle, is still very tight, showing a strong influence of the long total lees contact (18 months), but so complex and indicating of great mineral influence. With time and air, the nose eventually opens up towards citrus fruits and shows more intensity. Everything in this wine indicates how well it will develop. The palate is full, salivating and generous; the wine covers the mouth with an intense mineral presence. Yet, 2016 remains a very delicate Brand, with a dry, tight ripe acidity and pure finish.