This small co-operative, founded in 1954, has 110 members and 200 hectares of vineyard in the Haut-Rhin, nine kilometres from Colmar. Their wines are vinified using only their members' grapes, with a focus on expressing the rich diversity of Alsatian soils. Winemaker Nicolas Garde started at the winery in 2004 and his influence continues to be seen in the way the wines improve with each vintage.
Sheltered from oceanic influence by the Vosges Mountains, the Alsace wine region has a semi-continental climate which stays sunny and dry throughout the growing season, and this lengthens the ripening period for the grapes. The slopes surrounding Hunawihr, a picturesque village of half-timbered houses and a 14th century church, are some of the most celebrated in Alsace for grape-growing. Cave de Hunawihr’s fruit is sourced from 25 year-old vines grown in vineyards running along the south and south-east facing hillside slopes around the village, at an altitude of 250-320 metres. The vineyards cover an area of 36 hectares, located on a geological fault line across Ribeauvillé which gives soils composed of clayey limestone marl and chalky gravels.
Managing to escape the hail and frost that beset other French regions meant that Alsace had good yields in 2016. However, during a wet June mildew was a potential problem, but the rest of summer was warm and dry. Harvest conditions were good, and the wines are more elegant and classic in profile than the richer 2015s.
This Gewürztraminer was made from a blend of micro-parcels from the Hunawihr vineyards, picked at optimum ripeness. The temperature-controlled fermentation took place between 16-18°C for three weeks, followed by four months in stainless steel tanks to settle before careful filtration. No malolactic fermentation was allowed to take place.
Nice straw yellow colour with an elegant silver gold tint. The nose is very complex with very delicate perfumes of lychee, mango and particularly rose. Full-bodied, this off dry wine has a refreshing acidity with roses lingering on the long finish.