Friday, March 28, 2014

2009 Riesling Grand Cru Schlossberg, Jean-Marc et Frédéric Bernhard

All vintages of Alsace are very different. The reason  for the variations are obviously the weather, but mainly that quality producers do not manipulate their wines. If you harvest early, use standardized yeast, adjust the wine with acid or base, and use lots of sulfur the wines come out alike - and equally boring - year after year. 2009 vintage yielded wines that initially lacked elegance and had some bitterness. After 5 years, they have "come home" and finally developed a fine balance, even if the style will never be classic. But good.

2009 Riesling Grand Cru Schlossberg from Jean-Marc et Frédéric Bernhard in Katzenthal has a golden color. The aroma is rich and saturated with coffee, arrack, orange, ripe pineapple and peach puree. The palate is medium-bodied, powerful, somewhat hot and rich with sandy roughness, good acidity and very good balance. A wine with a substantial volume that manages to maintain its' equilibrium. Price: € 13.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

2005 Gewurztraminer Altenbourg, Domaine Weinbach

After 3 months with full focus on Vasaloppet, the worlds' largest and longest ski race, Alsace will get full attention!

Altenbourg is a vineyard located just above the village Kientzheim, on a gentle slope with relatively heavy soil, rich in limestone. The terroir is exposed to sun, but still the soil is quite heavy and the winds are moderate. This combination of soil and micro climate allows Gewurztraminer to mature evenly and slowly, maintaining its' acidity. In addition noble rot often develops which concentrates the aroma and the flavor even more. This may be the greatest terroir for the signature grape variety of Alsace.

2005 Gewurztraminer Altenbourg from Domaine Weinbach in Kaysersberg is deep golden yellow. The aroma is sublime, yet powerful, offering ginger, coffee, pineapple, rose petals, lemon and dill. The taste is sweet but perfectly balanced, with superb acidity, velvety texture and an aftertaste that lasts for ages. A great wine from a truly great producer. Price: €30.