Vintage 2017

The year began with an icy, dry cold front as January temperatures reached no higher than 0°C and dropped as low as -14°C.  Conditions grew milder towards the end of winter.

Budburst in our earlier developing parcels occurred on 25th March.

Our cherry tree was in full flower by 30th March and the mild weather which followed prolonged vine dormancy by two to three weeks.

Fearing frost, on 19th April, we applied valerian to the vines at the lower-end of the slope so as to create a protective, warming envelope for the buds.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough.  The following day, a large section of our vineyards around Colmar were found to have suffered damage from a black frost (a mass of cold air at freezing temperatures between -5°C and -7°C).  On 21st April, a new frost struck lower Wettolsheim.  The damage devastated more than half of our vineyards by 30% to 100%.  In Alsace, around 4500 hectares of vineyards were decimated by the frosts which had attacked both the plains and slopes.

Flowering signalled the beginning of spring and had run its course quickly by around 6th June.

We noticed that some inflorescences hadn’t developed properly as a result of the cold spell following vine dormancy.

Summer was both hot and dry, conditions favourable to an absence of disease across the vineyards in the region. The dryness of the season indicated the small harvest to come and the possibility of “a vintage for the anthologies” like that of 1947.

The harvest began early with the Crémant on 28th August.  Harvesting was concentrated within September, a month overseen by forgiving weather and the vines in good health.  October was dedicated to the majestic late harvests and noble rot grapes, particularly in Riesling and Gewurztraminer. 

Fermentation bore out well with the sugar/alcohol balances matching our desires.  The traditional end-of-year tasting from cask and oak barrels revealed wines that were polished with magnificent texture.  Ageing on fine lees followed smoothly.  At the end, the juices showed body, structure, richness, and a remarkable balance, thus confirming a major success for our sector. 

The potential of this vintage has turned out to be incredible but remains modest nonetheless.  The future will confirm our claims of wines that are modest in quantity but full of promise in quality.

January 2018

Domaine Albert Mann

13 rue du Château
F-68920 Wettolsheim - France
Phone :  +33 3 89 80 62 00
Fax : +33 3 89 80 34 23

Opening hours:
Monday to Saturday
9am-12pm / 2pm-6pm
Tasting by appointment

Sunday and public holidays:
The estate is closed

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