wines of Rolly
Alsace is real wine geek territory. You have to really
know what you are looking for here because it’s not always easy to
tell whether the bottle in front of you will be dry, sweet, or
somewhere in between. This can change with vintage, too, so knowing
your producers is not the only knowledge you require.
Fortunately, Alsace seems to be on a bit of a roll at
the moment. Average quality is pretty good, although the more
commercial wines can be a bit dilute because of the heroic yields
permitted. But there is a growing band of top quality producers who
are doing good work, and I reckon Rorschwihr-based Rolly-Gassmann
belongs with this elite band. Like many in Alsace, Rolly-Gassmann have
turned to biodynamics, but are uncertified.
The style is clearly one where there’s a fair bit of
residual sugar left in the wines. In general, this works very well.
I’m not sure I got the Vendange Tardive and the SGNs here: yes, the
concentration and heroic levels of residual sugar are impressive, but
I didn’t spot too much complexity in them at this early stage.
UK agent is Richards Walford (email@example.com),
and approx retail prices are given in brackets.
Rolly-Gassmann Pinot Noir Rorschwihr 2003 Alsace
Alsace Pinot isn’t usually serious, but this one is. It has a
nose of sweet, soft, rich open red fruits showing good elegance.
It’s quite a complex style with good ripeness and a soft texture.
Delicious. Very good/excellent 93/100 (£44.49)
Rolly-Gassmann Riesling Kappelweg 2003 Alsace
Lovely sweet, open lemony edged fruit here, with some richness and
sweetness. The palate is rich-textured and soft with melony fruit. A
rich, slightly sweet style of great charm. Very good/excellent 91/100
Rolly-Gassmann Sylvaner Réserve 2003 Alsace
Lovely rich soft melony fruit, herb-tinged with great richness and
softness. A delicious wine with a fat texture. Very good/excellent
Terroirs des Châteaux Forts 2003 Alsace
Quite a bright, expressive yet sweet melony nose with lots of
full, fat fruit. The palate shows lovely richness with sweet herby
fruit backed up by some lemony freshness. Long and quite sweet. Very
good/excellent 92/100 (£12.99)
Rolly-Gassmann Gewürztraminer 2003 Alsace
Very rich, sweet perfumed nose of lychee and spice. The palate is
supersoft, rich and sweet. Quite a thick, almost over-the-top wine.
Very good/excellent 90/100 (£24.99)
Rolly-Gassmann Auxerrois Roitleibel 2003 Alsace
Nicely defined rich spicy nose. The palate is soft, concentrated
and sweet with a nice spicy edge. Finishes very sweet. A really
interesting wine. Very good/excellent 93/100 (£30.99)
Rolly-Gassmann Gewürztraminer Stegreben Vendanges
Tardives 2003 Alsace
Super-sweet, rich, soft-textured wine with pretty, grapey fruit.
Very soft and full with a jellied fruits character. Almost too fat,
and this will need time to put on complexity. Very good/excellent
Rolly-Gassmann Muscat Moenchreben Sélection Grains
Nobiles 2003 Alsace
Sweet, grapey, peachy nose leads to a thick, pretty palate with
rich grapey fruit. Very sweet and incredibly fat, but where will this
go? Very good/excellent 92/100 (£89.99)
Rolly-Gassmann Tokay Rorschwihr Sélection Grains Nobiles 2003
Complex grapey, spicy nose is full and intense. The palate is
super-concentrated with masses of rich peachy fruit and some nice acid
backing it up. A big wine but still a baby. Very good/excellent 93/100
Wines tasted 01/06
these wines with wine-searcher.com
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