– Alsace, France
Henri is back by popular demand at the Natural Wine Festival A’dam. Soft-spoken and gentle, he may not be the most well-known winemaker, but his wines speak for themselves.
Kaes is a 6th generation winegrower at the Henri Kaes’ estate of roughly 7.5 hectares and has his roots anchored in the terroir of Molsheim. Henri produces both dry red and white wines made from traditional Alsatian grape varieties, but also a high-end crémant aged almost 30 months.
The winery turned to organic farming in 2010, favoring more gentle cultivation methods as the best way to support the vine in producing high-quality grapes. Watertight soft pruning, working the vines by hand, and herbal teas protect the vines against pests and keep a natural balance of fauna and flora.
In the cellar, follow-up is the rule, and intervention is rare. This “low impact strategy” is only possible when the grapes are healthy and ripe, requiring patience and plenty of rest. Slow pressing, native yeast fermentation, and long aging in different types of barrels are a few of the possibilities he explores to refine the expression of his wines.
Henri’s wines possess the typical aromas and flavors of this region: floral, fruity, and concentrated, thanks to the mineral-rich clay-limestone soil, which provides the grapes with the perfect amount of hydration and nutrients. In addition, a balanced texture, round mouthfeel, and rich color are some of the aspects that characterize the wines of Henri Kaes.
When asked for his recommended X-mas table wine, he chooses the Grand Cru Bruderthal: “because it is the perfect example of his expression of the terroir. Very well-balanced and a round mouthfeel with a touch of elegant oxidative tones.”
Cultivation: 7.5 ha
Varieties: Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Sylvaner, Pinot Gris, Auxerrois, Pinot Noir
Certifications: Biological certified since 2010
Sulfites: 30-40 mg/liter