Friday, May 30, 2014

2011 Muscat d'Alsace, Blanck

As in all other wine regions are Alsace wines do not reach reasonable standards There are acidic Riesling, sticky Gewurztraminer and limp Pinot Gris. But Muscat from Alsace are of a consistently high standard. Perhaps it might be because the grape variety is so fragile and delicate, and the cultivated area is so small. Or perhaps because Muscat wines are associated with summer, asparagus and good friends who meet for a fresh and seductive glass of the most lovable of all wines. True and pure joy, in other words.

2011 Muscat d'Alsace from Blanck in Kientzheim have fairly deep yellow color. The fragrance is developed but focused and offers orange, mineral, lemon balm and crushed grapes. The taste is barely medium-bodied and quite dry with deep, dense fruit, ripe and clean acids, fine texture and a lovely saltiness in the finish. The wine comes largely from Grand Cru vineyards. Class all the way through, at a ridiculously low price. Price (2014): €11.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

1999 Riesling Grand Cru Kirchberg, Louis Sipp

I have drunk many, one at least two dozen bottles of this wine. Most have been good, some have been soapy, one has been corked but this bottle was - perfect! Since 1999, the storability of Alsace wines have improved. This is mainly due to the current corks are so much better, but most likely because of better understanding of how to optimize the balance between oxidative and reductive phases from fermentation until the wine is bottled just before the next harvest.

1999 Riesling Grand Cru Kirchberg from Louis Sipp in Ribeauvillé has a healthy yellow color with a little hint of green. The aroma is big but not excessive, offering mango, grapefruit and heather. The flavor is rich, complex and somewhat acerbic and gives the impression of being completely dry, despite the overwhelming and smooth fruit that remains in the mouth for a long, long time. Who would have thought that this wine is 15 years old? Price: € 20.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

2007 Riesling Grand Cru Kastelberg, Gresser

Grand Cru Kastelberg is the only one of Alsace's finest vineyards are located on the slate. This rock is made up of sedimentary layers of clay particles of easily weathered minerals. Typically the rock has been transformed to become hard, brittle and flakey. Because shale releases much minerals, while it is dark and well drained, the vines on Kastelberg gives a unique character to the grapes which ripen perfectly.

2007 Riesling Grand Cru Kastelberg from Gresser in Andlau has developed aromas of licorice, citrus and minerals with a hint of cardamom, acacia and smoke. The flavor is quite full with layers of ripe fruit, stringent acidity, excellent structure and absolutely first-class balance. The aftertaste is fresh and very, very long. Price: € 20.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

2008 Riesling Grand Cru Rosacker, Eblin-Fuchs

From 2011, the number of designations of origin (Appellation d'Origin Contrôlée) in Alsace increased from three (AOC Alsace, AOC Alsace Grand Cru, AOC Crémant d'Alsace) to a full 53. It is a consequence of new EU rules for protected designations of origin, which for Alsace has meant that each of the  area's 51 Grand Cru has become its own AOC. In the future, the label should state Appellation Grand Cru Rosacker etetera. Wacky, but perhaps good.

2008 Riesling Grand Cru Rosacker from Eblin-Fuchs Zellenberg is biodynamically grown. The color is golden yellow, and the scent is gerous and sweet with passion fruit, lemon, a whiff of diesel and almonds. The taste is initially closed, but soon spreads out comfortably in your mouth and provides intense fruitiness and a powerful, ripe acidity that creates a fine balance in the dry finish. Price: € 14.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

2010 Riesling Ammerschwihr, Martin Schaetzel

The domaine Martin Schaetzel has a distinguished set of vineyards all the way from Thann in the south (Grand Cru Rangen), via Colmar (Grand Cru Eichberg and Pfersigberg) and Ammerschwihr (Grand Cru Kaefferkopf) to the slopes just south of Colmar. From this diversity, Michel Vié produces wines that are dry or sweet, light or robust as well as fruity or filled of minerality. Everything is made with the same fabulous precision, and will never disappoint.

2010 Riesling Ammerschwihr from Martin Schaetzel in Ammerschwihr is a pretty light yellow color with hints of green. The fragrance is clean, fresh and full of minerals, citrus, acacia and one hint of honey. The palate is medium-bodied, pure as crystal with lovely acid, ripe fruit, distinguished structure and stringent purity. Classic! Price: € 11.40.