Located along the northeastern border of Germany this region has adopted deep roots in German winemaking over it’s history. The look of the bottles, labels, grapes grown and style of the wine are mostly German. The key difference is while German wines tend to be sweetened and made from under ripe grapes, the wines of Alsace are dry and made from riper fruit. The wines are crisp, aromatic, fruity, wonderfully acidic and pair extremely well with food.
The Grapes: The main grapes grown in Alsace are Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris. Riesling is the most famous of the grapes and produces a fruity, dry, citrusy, medium bodied white wine. Gewürztraminer is very distinct, spicier and more exotic than its German grown counterpart. The Pinot Gris is full bodied, low acid and fruity.
I can remember my first Riesling experience like it was yesterday as I took a sip of a glass of chilled 2006 Trimbach outside on our deck in the middle of the summer. The crisp citrus, apple, floral and mineral notes on the palate. It was refreshing and was just perfect for that moment. Maison Trimbach produces some killer wines the Clos Ste Hune being one of the best wines in the entire region, but they also have extremely affordable and accessible wines to purchase.
The nose is a little more restrained with hints mineral, flora and petrol. The palate is bright with wonderful acid and dryness. Tropical fruit, citrus, apple and mineral are on the forefront with a pleasant finish. I find this vintage to be elegant start to finish with a good balance of fruit and mineral.
This is one of those wines that reaffirms my love of white wine. The Fronholz is rich, medium bodied, floral with honey and peach on the nose. The palate showed lemon, grapefruit and green apple with bright acidity and spicy and mineral finish. This wine is bold and can pair amazingly food. Great stuff and will only get better with a little more age.
The Schlossberg is bold, minerally and dry. The nose is fresh fruit and floral. What I enjoy most is the fruity, acidic, fresh and minerality that comes through on the palate. It well balanced and interesting. This vintage however needs a couple more years in the bottle to truly make it shine, but none the less a great drinking wine currently.
Check out Jancisrobinson.com for more great information on the Alsace region and its wonderful wines.