Barmes Buecher

Country of Origin: France
Location: Wettolsheim, Alsace
People: Genevieve Barmes, Owner | Maxime Barmes, Winemaker
Viticulture: Certified Biodynamic


Barmes Buecher 2012 Brut Cremant d'Alsace AOC Login AG 88 WA 88 In Stock
Barmes Buecher 2012 Pinot Gris, Pfleck, Alsace AOC Login AG 90 WE 88 WA 90 In Stock
Barmes Buecher 2011 Riesling, Hengst, Alsace Grand Cru AOC Login In Stock
Barmes Buecher 2012 Riesling, Herrenweg, Alsace AOC Login AG 90 In Stock
Barmes Buecher (500 ml) 2007 'Cuvee Maxime' Gewurztraminer, Alsace AOC Login In Stock

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Domaine Barmès Buecher was founded in 1985 and is run by Geneviève Barmès. It is a relatively large domaine with 16.37 biodynamic hectares, spread over four communes: Wettolsheim, Wintzenheim, Turckheim and Eguisheim. Some 2 hectares of the Barmès Buecher estate is on prime Grand Cru terroir. However, the volume is more moderate due to low yields. The domaine has been biodynamic since 1998, with the team carefully exploiting the potential of the terroirs and expressing the unique feature of each plot in a sensitive and skillful manner. The biodynamic principles go beyond farming as the domaine has also employed them in his cellar. Barmès Buecher deserves to serve as a symbol for the modern and progressive Alsace.

Barmès Buecher employs an exciting strategy when crafting their Crémant d'Alsace. In Champagne, sugar is added at three steps; the chaptalizatoin, the addition of sweet 'liqueur de tirage' and finally in the 'dosage.' But François Barmès works it the other way around; he harvests at 13% potential alcohol but stops the fermentation at around 11.7% alcohol and 22 grams/liter residual sugar. Thereafter, the second fermentation (on bottle) is started using the natural fructose, leaving enough sugar to cover up for the dosage. Brilliant!

Sadly François Barmès was killed on October 18th, 2011 while bicycling home. Undeniably energetic, enthusiastic, lovable and affectionate, he will remain an inspiration for Genevieve, Sophie and Maxime. They will continue his work, strongly committed to following in his path in the vineyards and vinification.
François strived to do better, strived to produce the truest expression of his vineyards in Alsace that he loved so much. One resounding observation can be made when looking back upon his 27 vintages: he never made the same wine twice.

One of the most significant turning pages in François' life and career was the conversion to biodynamics in 1998, ideas of which aim for a greater respect of nature. Over time he quickly became one of the leaders of this school within French viticulture; he was admired and emulated by colleagues and by friends from other vineyards in France.

Wine Advocate 10/2015
"Are you looking for the purest and most authentic expression of terroir, vintage and grape variety in wine, even if exactly this might be really challenging for you? Then check out the wines of Barmes-Buecher, or better, check them out twice, because these are no charming wines when young but at least very honest and promising. Since vintage 2012, the young Maxim Barmès – studied in Rouffach and Beaune, and with practical experiences in the Languedoc and the family estate – is responsible for the wines of the 16.5 hectares domaine in Wettolsheim. He is supported by his sister Sophie and his mother Geneviève as well as a team of eight workers. His first two vintages were anything but easy, yet brought a range of deep and precise as well as elegant and finesse-full terroir wines -- an excellent start for the second generation of BB.

The family cultivates a total of "70 or 80 plots" in different villages, mostly located in steep hillsides, including three Grand Cru sites: Steingrubler (in Wettolsheim), Hengst (Wintzenheim) and Pfersigberg (Eguisheim). Add the potential premier cru sites Rosenberg, Leimental, and – at 400 meters altitude and surrounded by forrest – Clos Sand (all Wettolsheim), as well as the Herrenweg in Turckheim, and you have a wide range of highly interesting and diverse terroirs with corresponding wines. These are made of Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris and Blanc, Muscat and Sylvaner. Since most of the vineyards are planted in high density (5,500 vines per hectare up to 7,000 for the Gewurztraminer Rosenberg, and actually 8,300 vines for the Riesling Clos Sand), but also in order to respect the soil and the plot, a lot of vineyard work is done by hand and by horse. Also, own machines have been developed; for example a quad, because it is much lighter than a tractor and does not thicken the soil when the teas or any other compounds are brought out."


  • Barmes Buecher 2012 Riesling, Herrenweg, Alsace AOC
    Rating: 90 (4/1/2015)

    Dark straw. Powerful, spicy, citrus-dominated (grapefruit, lemon peel, orange oil) nose. Taut and linear in the mouth, showing rich but bone-dry flavors of herbs, fresh citrus and white stone fruits. Finishes very long and impressively creamy. This excellent wine was made from 29-year-old flatland vineyards planted on mainly sandy (with some gravel) soils around Turckheim, where Zind-Humbrecht also makes his Herrenweg Turckheim wine. I point this out because the two wines really do resemble each other. It’s a particularly dry site--in fact one of the driest in all of France. "My husband always used to say that you could walk in the vineyard even 20 minutes after it had rained,” said Geneviève Barmès-Buecher.
  • Barmes Buecher 2012 Pinot Gris, Pfleck, Alsace AOC
    Rating: 90 (4/1/2015)

    Bright straw. Deep, ripe aromas of pear and tropical fruit. Rich and sweet on the palate, with lively, chewy pear, spicy apricot tart and strawberry flavors carrying through nicely on the clean, long aftertaste. The finish is complicated by a smoky nuance and shows noteworthy tannic bite. This wine had been previously made only between 2002 and 2005, from a parcel within the Rosenberg selected by the late François Barmès's. The family had always thought very highly of the site’s potential quality and wanted to start making offering this bottling again. It’s a very well ventilated site (while most of the Rosenberg sits within a slight depression) and it makes sense to produce a single-vineyard wine from a site with such a different slope gradient and microclimate.
  • Barmes Buecher 2012 Brut Cremant d'Alsace AOC
    Rating: 88 (4/1/2015)

    Pale straw. Green apple and white flowers on the simple nose. Then dry and taut in the mouth, with lively acidity giving the wine a very linear, austere mouthfeel. Finishes crisp and persistent, but I was left wishing for a little more generosity. According to Maxime Barmès, this is really an Extra Brut, and it sure tastes like it. It’s also the first-ever Crémant he has been entirely responsible for; all of the previous vintages had been produced under the helm of his late father François.
  • Barmes Buecher 2012 Pinot Gris, Pfleck, Alsace AOC
    Wine Enthusiast
    Rating: 88 (4/1/2015)

    The Pfleck Vineyard with its clay and limestone soil gives a rich style of Pinot Gris. This wine, with its intense spice and lychee flavors, is typical. It has a crisp edge but the ripe fruitiness and touch of pepper give weight and richness. Drink now.
  • Barmes Buecher 2012 Brut Cremant d'Alsace AOC
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 88 (10/15/2015)

    The 2012 Crémant d'Alsace is an assemblage of Pinot Gris (40%), Auxerrois (30%), Pinot Blanc, and Chardonnay that were picked at 11.5 to 12.5% alcohol to stop the first fermentation with 22 grams per liter, which started the second fermentation in the bottle after the wine had been slightly filtered. Brilliant and fresh apple fruit aromas on the lovely pure nose lead to a full and persistently-intense, quite rich and elegant palate with very good freshness and structure. Disgorged in October 2014, the wine has a very good expression and shows well with food for the next 2-4 years.
  • Barmes Buecher 2012 Pinot Gris, Pfleck, Alsace AOC
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 90 (10/15/2015)

    From the lieu-dit Rosenberg, the 2012 Pinot Gris Pfleck was fermented and aged in 600 liter barrels and opens with a deep bouquet of delicate fruit aromas, and earthy and some leathery notes on the nose. Round, intense and elegant on the palate, with Christmas cake spices, this slightly sweet and powerful wine has a good texture and a persistently piquant and salty finish. The wine needs some years to unfold all its talents.