Even if you’re relatively up to speed with the wines of Alsace, you may not have heard or seen much of Les 2 Lunes. I first discovered the wines of this small (14-hectare) family domaine thanks to the sommelier at La Chenaudière, a Relais & Châteaux hideaway up in the Vosges, whose list is studded with little nuggets of curiosity. Thanks to him, we tasted (and were agreeably surprised by) their rather decent Pinot Noir Céleste. Made in minute quantities (2 barrels only), it comes from a small clay-limestone block in nearby (and nearly unpronounceable) Voegtlinshoffen and it demonstrated the kind of progress that’s being made with the grape here, provided it’s planted in the right place and treated with TLC. It’s gone on my list of Alsace Pinots to look out for.
The two moons in the name refer to the two Buecher sisters, Amélie and Cécile. Amélie attended the local Lycée Viticole in Rouffach and later added a masters in wine commerce to her portfolio. Cécile did business studies and took her masters in wine commerce in the Loire. With both viticultural and business bases covered, “We make a great team!” says Cécile. And as the lunar references suggest, they work according to the biodynamic principles first set out by Rudolf Steiner in the 1920s. Like many biodynamic domaines, they converted the estate first to organic in 1997 and progressed to biodynamics in 2009.
Their vineyards are dispersed around Wettolsheim (where the cellars are), Walbach, Wintzenheim (where they have a holding in Grand Cru Hengst), Obermorschwihr, Voegtlinshoffen and Hattstatt (Grand Cru Hatschbourg). They work with all the white varieties permitted in Alsace save for Sylvaner, plus Pinot Noir. Their Crémants are Pinot Auxerrois-based, this one a lovely fleshy mouthful after its 18 months spent on the lees.
Still wines are divided into three categories: the Traditions (entry-level) wines are fresh, light, sometimes blends of different parcels. With the Vins de Terroirs range you get a truer sense of ‘somewhereness’ in the wines, as in Riesling Cécile, grown on a south-facing marl-limestone slope below Grand Cru Hengst, or Pinot Gris Sélénite from clay-limestone vineyards around Voegtlinshoffen and Obermorschwihr – the latter a fragrant, honeyed mouthful yet fully dry (rare for Alsace PG). Grands Crus (Hengst and Hatschbourg in their case) come from the best sites. My favourites when tasted recently were PG Hatschbourg, which made me think of baked quince and honey, and Gewurz Hatschbourg, exotic and rose-tinted with quite a bit of residual sugar, yet not over the top.
I think there’s every chance we may be hearing and seeing more of these Two Moons. Keep an eye out for their wines. Better still, pay them a visit and tell me what you think.