10 Pointers for Alsace (whites)

When faced with a flight of wines from the same region, or even just a single wine, it’s good to have some pointers that justify taking you to that region. It’s rarely just one factor that’ll take you to a specific place. It’s usually a combination. The more unique this combination the stronger your argument. This is by no means an exhaustive list — 10 is just a nice number.

  1. Varietally distinctiveAlsace Riesling
    mostly noble, aromatic, varieties such as Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Muscat, Pinot Gris.
  2. Riper and fuller bodied
    especially compared to German or Italian versions of the same varieties, Alsace wines tend to have a richness and generosity. Sunny, dry continental climate with long growing season
  3. Range of styles
    various soils, slopes, and varieties, and long ripening season
  4. Earthy complexity
    inclusion of botrytis is some drier styles Alsace Grand Cru Gewurztramineradds complexity and not something seen much outside the Old World
  5. Deep colour
    riper grapes, some botrytis inclusion, oxidative handling, large old oak foudres, and us of varieties such as Gewurz and Pinot Gris that have tinted skins.
  6. Very high quality possible
    slopes, soils, low disease pressure, long growing season.
  7. No new oak
    old, large oval oak foudres, want to preserve primary fruit
  8. No MLF
    want to preserve acid and primary fruit Alsace Pinot Gris
  9. Range of sweetness levels
    traditionally dry, but many off-dry, also Vendage Tardive and lusciously sweet Selection de Grains Nobles
  10. Texture and minerality
    possibly influenced by one or a combonation of terroir, lees aging, and fermenting in old oak foudres at ambient temperature

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