Jean-Baptiste Adam

Riesling Letzenberg – 2014


Jean-Baptiste Adam

For more than 400 years, Jean-Baptiste Adam and his family have been grape growers and winemakers in Ammerschwihr. Throughout the centuries the Adam family has farmed vineyards, made wine, sold wine locally and sold wine in foreign lands. They survived the Thirty Years War (1618-1648), the Valois and Bourbon dynasties, the French Revolution, the Napoleonic wars, annexation by Germany and back to France, WWI, WWII, famine and disease.

Jean-Batiste V joined the winery in 1982, at the age of 21, after finishing his studies of wine, enology, and marketing. In 1996, Jean-Baptiste took over full management of the property from his father, Jean-Marie. Soon after taking charge of the company, he modernized the winery and created a processing and storage facility for the production of Crémant. In 2003, he converted the vineyards to biodynamic agriculture wholeheartedly. Today, he is considered a leader of biodynamic farming practices in Alsace.

Jean-Baptiste’s daughter, Laure, is the 15th generation to work in the family business. Armed with a BS in Viticulture and Enology, a Wine and Commerce license, and a master’s degree in Wine Management & Marketing, she is an integral part of the business.

Jean-Baptiste Adam produces wines of elegance, balance, minerality and longevity.

Grapes / Soils

Riesling Planted 1984 Heavy clay with  limestone gravel and  limestone  sub-soil 3 acres

The Wine

Vineyard Profile
  • Riesling has been considered the first of all seven Alsatian grapes. Indeed, it already appeared in a major botany compendium, the Kreuterbuch or “herbal”, published in 1551 by Bock. Born in the Rhine valley, it is sometimes referred to as “grape of the Rhine”, and is considered one of the greatest white wine grapes in the world.
  • Terrior:  The marly clay and limestone soil (terre rouge or red earth) of the Letzenberg lies on pebbly sandstone and limestone agglomerates. The soils are heavy, fat, and rich in nutrients.  In some places, there are hardly 20 cm (8”) of vegetal earth with rubbles in the Western part, mostly limestone. The roots of our vines have to grow deep into the ground to seek the nutrients they need.  “Terroir” here makes powerful and opulent wines, with very refined aromas.
  • Age of vines:  more than 30 years old
  • The average yield : 40 hl/ha
Harvest Notes

Vinification:  Hand-picked grapes, pneumatic pressing, settling down by gravity, vinification in foudres (tuns), temperature control at 20°C (68°F).

Winemaker's Notes
  • The nose develops nice lime and pink grapefruit aromas along with a touch of minerality, serving as a testimony of the generous soil on which the vines are grown.
  • The attack is frank and well structured with a good acidity, a nice vivacity, full and lively, providing an excellent backbone to this wine.
  • The perfect Riesling for lovers of dry Riesling wines.
  • Wine pairing:  with shellfish, seafood as oysters, fish or white meet.  To enjoy at 8 °C (48ºF).
  • Ageing potential:  This wine can be enjoyed right now, but will gain in complexity if cellared for 8-10 years.
Wine Summary
  • Made from Riesling grapes.
  • Vine age – planted 1984.
  • Grown on soils of clay & limestone.
  • Fermented in century wooden cask at 68°F to 76°F.
  • Aged in French century wooden cask and the bottle.
  • Aged for between 8 and 12 months in the wooden cask and a minimum of 15 months in the bottle.
Technical Information
  • Alcohol by Vol:  12.91%
  • Residual Sugar:  4.44 g/l
  • Total Acidity:  5.44 g/l


91 Points

The citrus-colored 2014 Riesling Letzenberg opens as a classic limestone Riesling, with beautifully matured and elegant white seed fruit aromas intermixed with pineapple, fresh lemon and delicate earthy/chalky flavors.  This nose is beautifully transparent, fresh and detailed, less exuberant than the 2015, and focused more so on the complex Letzenberg terrior–fascinating!  Opening with a piquant attack on the palate, this is an elegant and pure, rather linear, fresh and mineral dry Riesling that shows more bones than flesh.  It is an excellent representative of the Letzenberg terrior.  It is a very fruit-friendly, rather medium-bodied Riesling with a stimulating tannin grip and salinity in the long, tension-filled finish.  Drink it over the next 8-10 years!

© Wine Advocate, March, 2017

91 Points

A 2014 that is both ripe and clean with plenty of peach and citrus fruit. This has both body and depth. Very good now, but probably better with a couple more years of bottle aging. Made from biodynamic grapes. Demeter approved., June, 2017

General Info

Country France
Region Alsace
Proprietors Jean-Baptiste Adam, Laure Adam
Founded 1614
Winemaker Mathilde Jaegler and Philippe Ruhlmann
Annual Production 50,000 to 66,000 9L cases
Farming (Sustainable, organic, biodynamic) Certified Biodynamic DEMETER since 2007, Certified Organic by EcoCert France