Les Vins Pirouettes

Liberté, Diversité, Fraternité under the auspices of Christian Binner

Quick facts:

Location: 14 estates in 13 different villages in Alsace, France

Owner & winemaker: an informal association of Alsatian growers encouraged by the renowned Alsatian winemaker Christian Binner and enologists Pierre Sanchez and Xavier Couturier

Vineyard area: variable, due to the nature of the project

Vineyard management: all growers are Organic- or Biodynamic-certified

Soils: Alsace is a geological medley of many soil types, including granite, sand, loess, gneiss, limestone, clay, etc…

Main varieties: the classical Alsatian bunch: Auxerrois, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Sylvaner, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir

Annual production (approx.): 80,000 bottles

Winemaking: sparkling wines made as pet-nats or crémants, Eros whites with skin-contact, Tutti-Frutti blends… Always spontaneous fermentation, no fining, no filtration, no sulfur added.

 

Fun facts:

  • Christian Binner, the renowned winemaker with more than 20 years of experience, launched this project to help respectful growers in his native Alsace to make and sell soulful natural wines at friendly prices
  • It’s an open association of an ever-growing number of winemakers working organically or biodynamically
  • All the wines are made in their respective cellars and fostered by the project’s enologists
  • The name « Pirouette » symbolizes the fun they’re having with this movement, but also the mastery & knowhow needed to execute a good honest wine.

 

Jump to wines | Pirouettes FB Page

 

“Les Vins Pirouettes” is a collective project launched by Christian Binner, the renowned Alsatian winemaker (part of our book, of course), who’s been making legendary zero-zero wines in his Ammerschwihr winery for more than 20 years. Saddened by the sight of organic and biodynamic grapes being sold for little to cooperatives, Christian decided to encourage these growers to make wine under their proper name instead, thus promoting the idea of soulful terroir wines made with zero nonsense both in the vineyard and the cellar. 

Alsace is a great region for this goal, btw: thanks to the Vosges range protecting it from the West, it’s a sunny and dry area, exercising lower disease pressure on the sensitive Vitis Vinifera. And, given its colorful geology, the region is a true patchwork of soils and subsoils ranging from granite to limestone and volcanic plots. Combine it with the 13 typical local varietals and you have the ideal hotbed for a breathtaking span of flavors and styles, especially when respectfully grown; it would be a sin to let them disappear in some insipid cooperative wines.

Hence Pirouettes! A friendly, open association of an ever-growing number of like-minded vignerons. As we’re writing this, it consists of 14 organic and biodynamic small growers whose first names you’ll always find on the bottle, along with a title referring to the method (Pet-nat, Crémant…), cru (Bildstoecklé, Frankstein) or style of wine. The Glou Glous aresurprise surprisehighly drinkable, Tutti Frutti connotes a white blend of multiple grapes, Eros serves flamboyant macerated whites… All the wines are made with zero-additions in the winemakers’ own cellars, with the gentle helping hand of the project’s enologists Xavier Couturier and Pierre Sanchez. “It’s important to say that Pirouette is by no means a négoce,” the team explains. “On the contrary, each cuvée is vinified at the winemaker’s own place, respecting its history and character.” And since selling the wine is equally important yet not easy (it’s difficult to be a brand manager when you’re a full-time vineyard person), Rémi Ségura has joined the project to spread the word and is supported by Christian Binner’s reputation.

« Pirouettes » is the name they chose to symbolize the fun they’re having, but also because “these wines are like beautiful artistic figures, the result of certain know-how and mastery. Pirouette is a gesture of freedom, emotion, and joy,” Christian explains. Indeed, it’s an appropriate name for this liberated movement of skillful artisans, and a beautiful legacy for the winemaker who pushed it forward.

 
Wines


Saveurs d’Eric — Back to the topPirouettes DEFINITIF 2

cultivated and vinified by Domaine Jean-Louis et Eric Kamm, Dambach-la-Ville

Vineyard: 50yo vines, certified organic (ECOCERT since 2010), on Granite and Limestone

Number of Bottles produced: 3600

Varieties: 70% Auxerrois / 30% Sylvaner

Vinification Method: Grapes are hand harvested, destemmed, and fermented with indigenous yeast and zero sulfur. Elevage for 4 months in stainless steel tank and bottled with zero addition of sulfur. Unfined and unfiltered.


Riesling de Julien — Back to the topPirouettes DEFINITIF 2

Riesling de Julien tech sheet

Certification: ECOCERT organic certification

Age of Vines: 15-20 years

Yields: 45hl/ha

Pruning Method: Taille double guyot

Soil: Clay and Limestone

Varieties: Riesling

Vinification Method: Grapes are hand harvested, destemmed, and fermented with indigenous yeast and zero sulfur. Elevage on the lees for 13 months in traditional large Alsatian foudre and bottled with zero addition of sulfur. Unfined and unfiltered.


Tutti Frutti de Stéphane — Back to the toppublicViewAttachment-1

Tutti Frutti de Stéphane tech sheet

cultivated and vinified by Stéphane Bannwarth, Domaine Bannwarth, Obermorschwihr

Vineyard: 35-40 years old vines on limestone silt & loess. Organic- (ECOCERT since 2004) and Biodynamic- (Demeter since 2012) certified

Varieties: 89% Auxerrois, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, 4 % Muscat, 7% Gewurztraminer

Vinification Method: Grapes are hand harvested and sorted, destemmed, and fermented in tanks. Elevage on the fine lees for 9 months in concrete and oak vats, bottled with zero addition of sulfur. Unfined and unfiltered.

 


Crémant de Stephane — Back to the toppublicViewAttachment

Crémant de Stephane tech sheet

cultivated and vinified by Stéphane Bannwarth, Domaine Bannwarth, Obermorschwihr

Certification: Organic Wine certification (ECOCERTsince 2004) and Biodynamic certifcation (Demeter since 2012)

Age of Vines: 35-40 years

Yields: 70hl/ha

Soil: Chalk and Loess

Varieties: Riesling, Auexerrois, Pinot Gris

Vinification Method: Grapes are hand harvested, destemmed, and fermented with indigenous yeast and zero sulfur. Elevage on the fine lees for 11 months in stainless steel tanks, then the wine is moved to the bottle for secondary fermentation with an addition of grape juice from the same vintage (no sugar or yeast added) with zero addition of sulfur. Unfined and unfiltered.


Glouglou Pinot Noir d’Hubert et Christian — Back to the topPirouettes DEFINITIF 2

Glouglou Pinot Noir d’Hubert et Christian tech sheet

cultivated and vinified by Christian Engel, Domaine Engel, Orschwiller

Vineyard: 1ha of 40yo vines on gneiss, certified organic (ECOCERT since 2014)

Varieties: Pinot Noir

Cellar: Grapes are hand-harvested with a first triage in the vines and second on the sorting table in the winery. After 15 days of maceration, the wine is gently pressed and aged on lees in stainless steel tank, for about one year. Bottled with zero addition of sulfur (10ppm total), unfined and unfiltered.

Personality: Cherry coke, figs & earth.


Le Bildstoecklé Riesling de Stephane — Back to the topEtiquette du Bildstoeckl� Riesling

Le Bildstoecklé Riesling de Stephane tech sheet

Le Bildstoecklé is a vineyard of magnificent terroir, featuring ancient marine limestone soil that is extremely rocky and full of rich iron deposits. The vineyard faces south on gentle sloping hills in the heart of the Alsatian vineyards. Cultivated and vinified by Stéphane Bannwarth, Domaine Bannwarth, Obermorschwihr.

Certification: Organic Wine certification (ECOCERTsince 2004) and Biodynamic certifcation (Demeter since 2012)

Soil: Very rocky limestone

Varieties: Riesling

Vinification Method: Grapes are hand harvested with a triage in the vines, destemmed, and fermented with indigenous yeast and zero sulfur. Elevage on the lees for 13 months in traditional large Alsatian foudre and bottled with zero addition of sulfur. Unfined and unfiltered.


Le Brutal de Jean Marc — Back to the top 

The Brutal wine corporation is a loose conglomeration of natural winemakers. Once accepted into the club, the winemaker must make a wine that is brutal in some way, in other words it must be extreme. The wine must only be made in one barrel, and must have no sulfur added. Generally all the labels for Brutal wines must look the same, although a few deviations have been allowed in more recent cuvées. In this case the skin maceration involved is the extreme element of the wine. Cultivated and vinified by Jean-Marc Dreyer, Rosheim.

Vines certified oraganic by ECOCERT in 2004 and byodynamic since 2016

Soil: Clay and Limestone

Varieties: Gewurtraminer, Pinot Gris, Riesling 

Age of Vines: 40 years old

Yield: 40hl/ha

Vinification Method: Grapes are hand harvested with a triage in the vines, destemmed, and fermented with indigenous yeast and zero sulfur. The varieties are vinified separately, and spend about 18 days macerating on the skins, producing a nice orange/pink color.  Elevage on the  fine lees for 11 months in traditional large Alsatian foudre and bottled with zero addition of sulfur. The wine is blended a day before being bottled, Unfined and unfiltered.


Le Sylvaner Glouglou d’Hubert et Christian — Back to the top 

cultivated and vinified by Christian Engel, Domaine Engel, Orschwiller

Soil: Sandy clay soil

Varieties: Sylvaner

Age of Vines: 45 years old

Vinification Method: Grapes are hand harvested with a triage in the vines, destemmed, and fermented with indigenous yeast and zero sulfur. Elevage on the fine lees for 7 months in traditional large Alsatian foudre and bottled with zero addition of sulfur. Unfined and unfiltered. 


Le Bubbles de Julien — Back to the top 

Soil: Clay and Limestone

Varieties: Riesling

Age of Vines: 15-20 years old

Yield: 45hl/ha

Vinification Method: Grapes are hand harvested with a triage in the vines, destemmed, and fermented with indigenous yeast and zero sulfur. The finished wine ages on the lees in stainless steel tanks for 24 months. The finished base wine is then combined with unfermented grape juice from the same vines from the newer vintage for the secondary bottle fermentation to finish as a natural sparkling wine with zero additions of sugar, yeast, or sulfur. The wine is unfiltered and is not disgorged.


Le Frankstein Riesling d’Eric — Back to the top 

cultivated and vinified by Domaine Jean-Louis et Eric Kamm, Dambach-la-Ville

Soil: Granite and Mica

Varieties: Riesling

Age of Vines: 35 years old

Yield: 40/ha

Vinification Method: Grapes are hand harvested with a triage in the vines, destemmed, and fermented with indigenous yeast and zero sulfur. Elevage on the fine lees for 10 months in barrels and bottled with zero addition of sulfur. Unfined and unfiltered. 


Eros by Vincent — Back to the top 

Vineyard: 0.5 ha of 18yo vines on limestone and sandstone, organic since 2011

Varieties: 40% Pinot Gris, 40% Riesling, 20% Sylvaner

Cellar: Grapes are hand-harvested with a triage in the vines, destemmed, and fermented on skins for 25 days, resulting in orange wine. Elevage on the fine lees for 8 months in foudre. Zero addition of sulfur, unfined and unfiltered. 

Personality: “I loved making this skinsy Alsatian amber,” confesses the winemaker. Judging from the speed with which this wine disappears every time we get some, everybody else loves drinking it.

 


Pet Nat d’Eric — Back to the top 

cultivated and vinified by Domaine Jean-Louis et Eric Kamm, Dambach-la-Ville

Vineyard: 18 years old vines on granite, organically grown

Varieties: 80% Auxerrois, 20% Pinot Noir

Cellar: Grapes are hand-harvested, destemmed, and fermented with indigenous yeast and zero sulfur. The wine ferments in concrete tanks and spends some time on the lees before the two grapes are blended and then transferred to bottles to finish as a naturally sparkling wine with zero additions of sugar, yeast, or sulfur. The wine is unfiltered and is not disgorged.

Personality: gentle sparkle, floral nose, zesty mouth – un joli pet-nat, quoi!


Brutal de Jean-Luc — Back to the top 

cultivated and vinified by Jean-Luc et Michèle Shaeringer, Domaine Wymann, Ribeauvillé

Vineyard : Limestone and clay loam

Varieties: Pinot Noir

Yield: 35/ha

Vinification Method: Very ripe grapes, that are partially “raisinated” are hand-harvested with a triage performed at the vines. Whole cluster fermentation for about 1 month in stainless steel tanks, followed by manual punch-downs. Elevage on the lees for one year and bottled with zero addition of sulfur. Unfined and unfiltered.



Tutti Frutti d’Olivier — Back to the top 

cultivated and vinified by Oliver Carl, Domaine André Carl & Fils, Dambach-la-Ville

Vineyard: certified organic. Granite, Sand

Varieties:  Sylvaner, Auxerrois, Pinot Gris

Vinification Method: Grapes are sorted while harvested by hand, then directly pressed with a delicate pneumatic press. Fermentation with indigenous yeast, elevage on fine lees for 9 months in big hundred-year-old oak vats (“foudres”). Bottled with zero addition of sulfur, unfined and unfiltered.

Personality: full-frontal fruit freshness! Compelling nose of citrus fruit with minty touch, mouthfeel balancing roundness, and the lip-smacking acidity of hard citrus candy.

 


Saveurs de Raphael Front
Saveurs de Raphaël — Back to the top

cultivated and vinified by Raphaël Marchal, Domaine de L’Envol, Ingersheim

Vineyard: 0.82ha of 50 years old vines on limestone, biodynamic since 2016

Varieties: Gewurztraminer 85%, Riesling 15 %

Cellar: Grapes are hand-harvested, destemmed, and fermented with indigenous yeast and zero sulfur in big wooden vats. Bottled with light filtration and zero addition of sulfur (12ppm in total).

Personality: beautiful dry-style Gewurztraminer – all the flowers & spices without the heavy mouthfeel, this one is all about fresh acidity. Perfect with Asian food.

 


Le Brutal de Claude — Back to the top 

cultivated and vinified by Claude Straub, Blienschwiller

Grapes: Pinot Noir

Vineyard: 0.4ha of 40yo organically grown Pinot Noir on granite and clay-silt

Cellar: Grapes are sorted while harvested by hand, then macerated for 20 days: first as whole bunches (natural carbonic maceration), gently foot-stomped after 8 days. Gentle pressing, elevage on lees in stainless steel tanks, for 11 months. Racked and bottled without fining, filtration or sulfur added (total SO2 16ppm)

Personality: fruity and irresistible. With light structure and silky tannins thanks to the carbonic maceration, this is a delicious berry-driven Pinot with brutal drinkability.


Pet Nat de David — Back to the top 

cultivated and vinified by Domaine Muller-Koeberle, Saint-Hippolyte

Vineyard: granite, organic

Varieties: Riesling

Cellar: Grapes are hand-harvested, destemmed and macerated on skins for two days, then fermented with indigenous yeast and zero sulfur. The wine ferments in tanks and spends some time on the lees before transferred to bottles to finish as a naturally sparkling wine with zero additions of sugar, yeast, or sulfur. The wine is unfiltered and is not disgorged.

Personality: zesty in all senses! The freshness of Riesling mingles with a deeper skinsy undertone coming from the short skin contact.


La Bulette de David — Back to the top 

cultivated and vinified by Domaine Muller-Koeberle, Saint-Hippolyte

Vineyard: granite, organic

Varieties: Riesling

Cellar: Grapes are hand-harvested, direct-pressed, and fermented with indigenous yeast and zero sulfur. The wine ferments in stainless steel tanks and spends some time on the lees before it is transferred to bottles to finish as a naturally sparkling wine with zero additions of sugar, yeast, or sulfur. The wine is unfiltered and is not disgorged.

Personality: a distinct Riesling character underlined by gentle fizz.