Ostertag Le Berceau Riesling 2018


In stock
Alsace, France


2018 Le Berceau is a unique wine on account of its geology. It’s a blend of clay and pink sandstone, which gives the wine a lacy texture and charming volume. The more it ages, the more the minerality improves the structure of the wine.

The vineyard is one hectare and I pick only 0.20Ha for this wine. The rest of the bunches are not ready to fully show the complexity of the place, so that fruit went into the Riesling Les Jardins. Every day we see the vineyard life progress, and we encourage this with a lot of plant preparation and biodynamic work to help the vines find their own balance.

Epfig is a special village in the Alsace vineyard for many reasons. Its Roman-based name to begin with, which distinguishes it from most of the villages on the wine route with firmly Germanic names. It’s also far from being the most renowned though it has the largest vineyard area in the whole region, with 550 hectares of AOC Alsace vines. Finally, while most towns hang on the steep Vosges foothills, Epfig spreads over the gentle slopes around the Fronholz hill. This is the central point of the town’s vineyard as well as our domaine’s historic terroir, a kind of resurgence set apart from the 3km-distant Vosges hillsides and entirely surrounded by flat land.

The Domaine has always grown several gardens of vines in the Fronholz, but it’s only recently that we took root in the Pflanzer, another historic vineyard of Epfig, not too far from the Fronholz. Set in a more urban landscape, Pflanzer is a more intimate, smoother, more civilized kind of terroir. Its name means “nursery” for it was there that the baby vines were raised during their first year after grafting, before being permanently planted elsewhere. It’s a milieu, perfectly balanced and rich enough in clay to allow these delicate little beings to set their roots easily.


Serving Temp.
8-12 °C
Cellar until
Now - 2026
Food pairing
Lightly spiced Asian dishes

Tasting Profile

Located just down the Fronholz hill, its top part is a geological continuity of Fronholz (decomposed white sandstone, quartz, and many heavy minerals), while the lower part has more clay and alluvium. We began working Riesling vines there in 2016 and they were bottled as a single-vineyard wine for the first time in 2018. The impact of clay is obvious when comparing it to the other single-vineyard Rieslings that all come from higher, steeper, and sandier soils that are rockier and poorer in clay. Here the wine is delicate and seductive, like a flattering caress, with ripe Mirabelle plum and yellow peach coursing on a fine and dynamic structure. The finish is all smokiness and fine bitters wrapped in lush ripe fruit. The 2018 was fermented and aged in stainless steel where it relaxed on its lees for 20 months. Like all the Domaine wines, it was gently pressed for 10 hours, then fermented with its natural yeasts and did the full malolactic conversion. It was bottled in April 2020 with a balance of 13.5% alcohol and 8g/L of residual sugar.– Arthur Ostertag

Ostertag Le Berceau Riesling 2018

Ostertag Le Berceau Riesling 2018

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