The result is a golden coloured Pinot Gris, with a very refined, floral nose, and ripe yellow fruits, citrus fruits and honey. In the mouth the complexity of the soils and the barrel vinification is felt through a fresh, vibrant wine combining a full body and a dry personality.
Wine Advocate 90 points - The Ostertag 2011 Pinot Gris Barriques displays richly ripe, juicy peach and pineapple allied to structure and phenolic cut that are more than able to stand-up to the influence of its (only around 10% new) oak. Lanolin, resin and vanilla mingle with grape-borne brown spices, caraway and peach kernel. Silken and glycerol-rich, this at once soothes and stimulates in a protracted and flatteringly buoyant finish. I imagine it serving well through 2018. ?Pinot Gris is the most fragile grape in Alsace,? opines Ostertag, who considers the fungal characteristics that generally prevail with it to be manifestations of low-level botrytis that he picks early and selectively to avoid. ?Besides,? he adds, ?since we put Pinot Gris through malolactic in barrel, it is especially important not to pick too late because the wine will be too soft and lack freshness.? Asked about the possibility of utilizing larger-sized barrels, Ostertag laughs and says ?my cellar is too small to get anything larger than a barrique through the door. And I work alone there so I have to be able to move everything single-handedly.? (The corresponding Pinot Blanc Barriques ? whose 2010 counterpart I did not taste ? was far less successful, its fruit insufficiently able to withstand the influence of the wood.) (Aug 2014)