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The wines of Domaine Albert Mann, Alsace

13 rue de Château, 68920 Wettolsheim, France Tel:+33 (0)3 89 80 62 00

see also: a much more recent review of Albert Mann's wines (November 2001)

Straddling the borders of France and Germany, Alsace is a fascinating and picturesque wine region, but for various reasons one that I have never fully explored. Consequently, I was looking forward to try quite a wide range of wines from one of the smaller quality-minded producers. However, I found this rather a mixed range, with some real highlights but also some less impressive wines, in particular the disappointing 1996 Tokay Pinot Gris Vendanges Tardives.

Muscat 1998
Clean and delightfully grapey, this wine combines nice aromatics with a rich, spicy palate. Very good.

Riesling Schlossberg 'Grand Cru' 1997
Dry, savoury, minerally with a touch of citrus fruit. Good but unremarkable.

Tokay Pinot Gris Furstentum 'Grand Cru' 1997
Soft and fruity on the palate, but overall this lacks intensity and 'bite': a low acid style that I don't think works too well here.

Geuwürztraminer Steingrubler 'Grand Cru' 1998
Soft and nicely textured, with rich, spicy palate and the litchee fruit that is typical of this variety. This is almost sweet. Lovely wine. Very good.

Tokay Pinot Gris Vendanges Tardives 1996
Stinky bacon fat and honey nose. This wine is oxidised, and just about undrinkable. Very disappointing.

Gewürztraminer Furstentum Selection de Grains Nobles 1997
Superb. Rich, sweet, spicy and viscous-textured. Lovely floral nose, and not too sweet. Good balance. Excellent wine, but I'd imagine this is quite expensive.

(Tasted November 1999)