Alsace - Hey, wait! These are WHITE wines!
Notes and impressions from a Alsace tasting - Saturday, July 8,2000, at the Wine Exchange in Orange, CA. Twenty-one wines were poured for a tasting fee of $14.
The wines, in the order tasted:
1997 Ostertag Sylvaner Vieilles Vignes. $11.99.Faint yellow
color. Nose of sweet grass and fruit, with a touch of spice. Very tasty
fruit, with a long crisp finish.
1998 Trimbach Pinot Blanc. $8.99. Faint yellow color. Nose of
light citrus, sweet grass, cedar, and pineapple notes. Sweet grassy mouthfeel,
with a bit of toasty citrus leading to long crisp finish and a nice long
1998 Albert Mann Pinot Auxerrois Vieilles Vignes.$9.99.
Light yellow color. Nose of lemon lime and orange peel, and toasted walnuts.
Sweet citrusy mouthfeel, crisp, yet soft texture, and nice soft finish.
1998 Schoffit Pinot Auxerrois Cuvee Caroline.$13.99. Light
yellow color. Nose of citrus peel, tonic water, grass and sweet clover.
Big sweet chewy mouthfeel, citrusy and toasty flavor, with a slight fizz
to the finish.
1997 Zind Humbrecht Muscat Grand Cru Goldert.$29.99. Very
light yellow color. Floral and spicy nose of cinnamon and nutmeg. Long
spicy and crisp finish. Quite dry, with negligible residual sugar.
1997 Zind Humbrecht Riesling Gueberschwihr. $19.99.Light
yellow color. Sweaty lemon nose, with stemmy fruit and dried grass aromas.
Slightly sweet mouthfeel, with citrus, sweet melons, lemon, and a bit
of stemminess and rubber band. Long, crisp and spicy finish.
1996 Trimbach Riesling Cuvee Frederic Emile. $25.99.Light
yellow color. Nose of sweet grass, anise, and meat. Slightly sweet mouthfeel
initially, but fruit and palate starts to feel tart and crisp with time.
Pineapple and citrus flavors, with a lemony finish.
1997 Ostertag Riesling Grand Cru Muenchberg. $29.99.Light
yellow color. Nose of smoky citrus, grass, hay, and toast. Slightly sweet
fruity mouthfeel, with a toasted grain quality. Nicely integrated flavors
and texture, with a medium-long toasty finish.
1997 Zind Humbrecht Riesling Rangen de Thann Clos St.Urbain.
$54.99. Light yellow color. Sweet nose with lots of floral aromas
and hints of citrus. Somewhat sweet fruit, lots ofbody and texture, yet
very smooth and nearly soft. Toasty long finish.
1997 Leon Beyer Gewurztraminer Comtes d'Eguisheim.$24.99.
Medium yellow-brown color. Big sweet floral and honeyednose. Sweet spicy
mouthfeel, with melon, citrus, dry pasta, and a very long finish. Huge
body and fruit, with enough crispness to cut through steel. Gimme more!
1997 Zind Humbrecht Gewurztraminer Herrenwegde Turckheim. $32.99.
Medium-dark yellow color. Nose of toast, spice, raisin, white currant.
Huge sweet viscous mouthfeel; nearly dessert-like in its thickness. Very
long fruit-filled and toasty finish.
1997 Schoffit Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Rangen de Thann ClosSt.
Urbain. $43.99. Medium yellow-brown color. Nose of raisin, spice
cake, and toast. Light-heavyweight mouthfeel, with lots of spicy fruit
and toasty flavors, and a nice crispness to finish. Flawless balance;
1993 Rolly Gassmann Gewurztraminer Stegrebende Rorschwhir.
$29.99. Medium yellow color. Sweaty lemon, floral, and stemmy nose.
Sweet tasty mouthfeel, with a toasty dry pasta background to the big fruit.
1997 Lucien Albrecht Tokay Pinot Gris Vieilles Vignes.$12.99.
Light butterscotch yellow color. Nose of candied citrus peel, spice and
white pepper. Slightly sweet mouthfeel, lightly fruity and crisp taste,
with a long crisp and toasty finish.
1997 Marc Tempe Tokay Pinot Gris Zellenberg. $19.99.Medium
butterscotch yellow color. Lots of caramel, raisin and spice in the almost
maderized-like nose. Spicy, toasty and partly fizzy mouthfeel, with a
sweet caramelized taste and a long finish.
1997 Schoffit Tokay Pinot Gris Vieilles Vignes Alexandre .$18.99.
Medium butterscotch yellow color. Nose of sweaty lemon, grass and citrusy
fruit. Sweet mouthfeel of butterscotch, lemon and spice. Smooth, long
1997 Rene Mure Tokay Pinot Gris Vorbourg Clos St.Landelin.
$25.99. Butterscotch yellow color. Lovely nose of sweet spicy lemon,
toast, clover and hay. Sweet spicy mouthfeel, with fabulous balance and
long tasty finish.
1996 Marc Tempe Gewurztraminer Rimelsberg Vendange Tardive.
$47.99. Medium-dark butterscotch yellow color. Killer nose of spiced
lemon, toasted nuts, butterscotch, and a touch of floral notes. Sweet
big mouthfeel, with complex layers of fruit, toasted nuts, butterscotch,
and lemon grass. Unbelievable!
1995 Zind Humbrecht Gewurztraminer Herrenweg de Turkheim Vendange
Tardive. $61.99. Medium-dark butterscotch color. Very complex
and well-integrated nose. Just huge on the palate, with caramel, spice
cake, toast, and roasted nutmeats.
1994 Zind Humbrecht Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Goldert Vendange Tardive.
$56.99. Medium-dark butterscotch color.Very complex and well-integrated
nose. Soft and stylish, yet still big on the palate, with spicy caramel,
cake, toast, and toastedwalnuts.
1995 Schoffit Tokay Pinot Gris Grand Cru Rangen de Thann Clos St.
Theobald. $89.99.Caramel yellow color. Slightly raisiny and maderized
nose, with spice and candied citrus peel. Citrusy, sweet and spicy mouthfeel,
with very long caramelized and toasty finish.
Overall impressions: well, first off, let me say that I've only
had a handful of Alsatian wines in the past. So, this opportunity presented
something of a watershed for me. We tasted 6 of the 7 varieties grown
in Alsace, the exception being a Pinot Noir. As a group, they were very
impressive, running the full gamut of flavors and textures. Generally,
I preferred the Tokay Pinot Gris and Gewurtztraminer wines. But, there
were many Pinot Auxerrois and Rieslings that were a pleasure to drink.
The bargains of the bunch seemed to be the Rene Mure Tokay Pinot
Gris, the Ostertag Riesling, and the Leon Beyer Gewurztraminer,
all beautifully drinking wines, and all under $30. Plus, in general I
seemed to like the wines from Schoffit better than the other producers.
Here is my order of preference, of the wines tasted:
1996 Marc Tempe Gewurztraminer Rimelsberg Vendange Tardive.
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