à l’orient d’eden : in quest of a lost taste


à l’Orient d’Eden : in quest of a lost taste



Ostertag à l'orient d'Eden 2013 Fronholz Gewurztraminer


At the East of Eden, Cain was exiled on the Land of Nod
At the East of Eden is the gate to the Tree of Life guarded by the cherubs with the blazing sword

This wine evokes the luxuriance of the Garden of Eden and the oriental delights.
This wine is a quest for a lost taste
This wine is a foretaste of Paradise
This wine is a provocation
This wine is an offence to conformism
This wine is a poetic nose-thumbing
This wine is an oeno-illogical wrong-foot
This wine is a bouquet of words
This wine is an erotic flower
This wine is a declaration of love
This wine is not trying to please
This wine is simply tries to act
This wine tells life



The Fronholz is a hill separated from the Vosges mountains, a relic of the old mountain which collapsed in its middle to give birth to the Rhine plain.
It is a kind of island, a summit which survived thanks to an intriguing movement of geological faults.

The Gewurztraminer vines grow precisely on the south-west slope, facing the occident and the setting sun which is very unusual among the Alsace vineyards.

The soil is made of white sand and clay riddled with many quartz pebbles, along with some remains of sandstone whitened with time.
There is a lot of mineral salts bringing a strong saltiness which makes the personality of the Fronholz wines.
It has therefore a strong impact on the character of the grapes it produces, provided that it is paid enough attention



Gewurztraminer is a very singular grape, probably the most aromatic of all grapes.
“Gewurz” means “spice” and brings to mind the splendors of the East.

Gewurztraminer is not a fashionable wine, to say the least. Maybe too powerful or not smooth enough for the contemporary timorousness.
It reminds me the world of Süskind, a world of perfume where the worst brushes against the best, where horror is never far from bliss.
It is a lout yet an aristocrat, a seducer all the way, Napoleon reincarnated into Rudolf Valentino, a dominator impossible to master, a real nightmare for a winemaker !



2013, a cold and late year, gave us wines with an elegance and finesse we had never seen since the start of this new era of global warming.
But 2013 also left us faced with a lot of questioning about Gewurztraminer, which we usually pick as a vendange tardive on the Fronholz parcels, but which showed little signs of overripeness while rain and winter were already knocking on the door.

So we went and picked grapes far less sweet than usual but which had a strikingly precise expression of the Fronholz minerality.

The harvest took place on the 24th and 25th of October and the wine was racked at 12° alcohol, to keep as much freshness as possible. The naturally remaining 54 g/L of sugar make it a definitely sweet wine, but its lusciousness and fruitiness are toned up by the saline precision of the Fronholz. The sweetness is shaded and allows surprising pairings with food, such as sweet and savoury poultry lifted by some sweet spices and dried fruit.


The label, just like all the domaine’s, is a work by our favourite artist, Christine Colin.


André Ostertag, April 2016

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