A day in the Alsace vineyards

Looking to the Schlossberg vineyard

Today has been fabulous. I’m lucky to be travelling with some excellent companions: David Williams, Susy Atkins, Hamish Anderson and Emma Wellings. They are unlucky to be lumped with me.

We set off early for the impossibly beautiful village of Kientzheim, where Domaine Paul Blanck is located. I’m told that by [...]

In Alsace, my first visit

Very excited to be visiting Alsace for the first time. I haven’t been writing full-time about wine for all that long (4 years), so there are still a number of important wine regions I have yet to visit. So I am pleased to finally get the chance to see Alsace: I know and love the [...]

More highlights from Majestic: two lovely Alsace whites from Schlumberger

Two more highlights from this week’s press tasting at Majestic: a couple of lovely Alsace whites from Schlumberger.

I love these wines, and at the offer price they are a steal. But they illustrate why Alsace remains a nightmare for consumers. One is dry, the other quite sweet. But nowhere is this indicated on the bottle. [...]

Time for some Alsace wines

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I have never been to Alsace. The odd thing is, I really love Alsace wines. So why haven’t I been?

Anyway, here’s a spread of different bottles, reflecting some of the different varieties grown in the region. All were pretty good, with the Riesling and Muscat the standouts.

Kuentz-Bas Pinot Blanc [...]

Video: tasting three Gewurztraminers

So, here’s a short film. I taste three different Gewurztraminers – from Alsace, Chile and Hungary – and talk about them.

Fonseca 1970, Delamain 1914, Vin de Constance 1988 and other treats

Had a very enjoyable dinner last night at the offices of Mentzendorff, a major high-end UK agency house. It was more fun than work, but I took some notes on the wines in my usual geeky way. Here they are.

Champagne Ayala Perle d’Ayala Nature 2002
This is the non-dosage version of Ayala’s prestige cuvee, and it’s one [...]

A couple of affordable Rieslings: Germany and Alsace

It’s Riesling weather. Warm and spring-like. Here are two that I’ve recently enjoyed.

Fritz’s Riesling 2009 Rheinhessen, Germany
11% alcohol. This is what Riesling needs to do to revive its popularity. Nicely packaged, this has a pithy, limey nose with some ripe apple notes. The palate shows pear, apple, lemon and melon notes. It’s fresh and off-dry [...]

Alsace season 5: Rieffel Pinot Blanc 2008

Of all the Alsace varieties, Pinot Blanc is the one that gets forgotten most easily, I reckon. It’s underrated. Good Pinot Blanc is lovely. This is a nice one, from Lucas and Andre Rieffel.

Rieffel Pinot Blanc Vieilles Vignes 2008 Alsace
13.5% alcohol. Full flavoured with notes of citrus, herbs and straw, as well as subtly toasty [...]

Alsace season, 4: Dirler Belzbrunnen Riesling

Alsace Riesling is really interesting. It can be dry, off-dry or sweet, and usually has more body than German examples. The best examples rank among the highest expressions of this versatile variety, which seems to be able to make great wines in a number of styles. This one is from the south of the Alsace [...]

Alsace season, 3: tasting four wines on camera

Four Alsace wines tasted, all from UK retailer The Wine Society.