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Alsace

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Cave De Hunawihr Riesling Grand Cru Rosacker 2018 (1x75cl)

Reviewed by Jancis Robinson for the Financial Times in their 6th December 2019 article, Stunning White Wines for the Festive Season (see blue link below).

Cave De Hunawihr Riesling Grand Cru Rosacker 2018 - December 2019 FT review

This small co-operative, founded in 1954, has 110 members and 200 hectares of vineyard in the Haut-Rhin, nine kilometres from Colmar. Their wines are vinified using only their members' grapes, with a focus on expressing the rich diversity of Alsatian soils. Winemaker Nicolas Garde started at the winery in 2004 and his influence continues to be seen in the way the wines improve with each vintage.

Sheltered by the Vosges Mountains, the Alsace wine region has a semicontinental climate which stays sunny and dry throughout the growing season, which extends the ripening period for the grapes. The slopes surrounding Hunawihr, a picturesque village of half-timbered houses and a 14th century church, are some of the most celebrated in Alsace for grape-growing. Cave de Hunawihr’s fruit is sourced from 25 year-old vines grown in vineyards, located at 250-320 metres altitude, which run along the south and south-east facing hillside slopes around the village. The vineyards cover an area of 36 hectares, located on a geological fault line across Ribeauvillé, which gives soils composed of clay limestone and marl with overlying chalk gravel.

The 2018 vintage was very good. Budburst was later than normal however a very hot summer allowed harvest to begin towards the end of August. Yields were higher than average and the grapes were of a high quality.

Each parcel was individually selected to ensure the best quality for this Réserve wine. Fermentation took place at temperatures of 16-18°C for three weeks with local yeasts. The wine was then aged on its fine lees in stainless-steel tanks for three months before careful filtration. Malolactic fermentation was not allowed to take place.

100% Riesling.

Residual sugar = 8.7g/litre.

This wine is an elegant straw yellow in colour with youthful tints. The nose is complex with aromas of citrus, pear, white flowers and a touch of minerality. The palate is lively and is bursting with citrus flavours. The finish is long and refreshing.

ABV = 13.5%.

£18.25

Dopff Au Moulin Alsace Gewurztraminer 2018 (1x75cl)

The Dopff family have been winegrowers since 1574 and still manage the 70 hectare estate near the charming medieval town of Riquewihr.The vineyards are more than 300 metres above sea level, nestled in the foothills of the lower Vosges, sheltered from the northerly winds and the rain from the west. The southerly exposure of the vineyards and favourable microclimate lend themselves to the art of producing excellent wine. As a family of pioneers, they were responsilble for the use of the stemmed wine bottles, which today distinguish Alsace wines from other regions. In 1900, tenth generation, Julien Dopff, was so impressed by the Champagne tastings held in Paris' World Exhibition, he decided to learn the art of winemaking in Champagne for 2 years before returning to Alsace. Initially, the Dopff family bought juice in barrels from Champagne, blended, processed and aged the wines in Ricquewihr. However, after WW II Julien Dopff strongly believed that a Crémant made from local grape varieties and reflecting the terroir of Alsace should be produced and protected. In 1976, together with 5 other producers, he finally obtained official recognition for Crémant d'Alsace as an AOC.

The vines are pruned according to the Guyot system, with a green harvest and meticulous canopy management to ensure good light penetration and air flow. The vineyards are made up of sandy clay soils with good drainage.

Harvest started on 6th September 2018, with Auxerrois, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris; the Riesling grapes were harvested from 20th September. The yields were higher than the previous year and the fruit picked was in an excellent, healthy condition, due to the warm, dry ripening period throughout the summer. The fruit offers concentrated flavours, with excellent maturity.

The grapes were harvested at optimum maturity and carefully selected. The grapes were whole bunch pressed, prior to a static settling process. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperatures, maintaining the purity of fruit and the varietal characteristics of Gewürztraminer.

100% Gewürztraminer.

Expressive, classic aromas of rose petal, lychee, jasmine and tropical fruits with a touch of pepper carry through to an opulent and beautifully balanced palate with an elegant, off-dry finish.

ABV = 13.5%

£16.25

Josmeyer Riesling Dragon Single Vineyard 2014 (1x 75cl)

Josmeyer was founded in 1854 by restaurant owner Aloyse Meyer who set about building on his father’s work in the wine trade. Since then, the estate has passed through 5 generations of the Meyer family, with Jean Meyer responsible for switching the entire estate to organic and biodynamic culture. He is credited with elevating the estate to one of Alsace’s greats. After his death, his daughters Celine and Isabelle took over running of the estate.

The 28 hectare estate is situated at Wintzenheim, and benefits from low annual rainfall, some of the lowest in France. Riesling and Pinot Blanc are given the largest sections of the estate, with Auxerrois, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Gewurztraminer also growing here. 5 distinct terroirs make up the estate, 2 of which have achieved Grand Cru status: Hengst and Brand.

Once hand picked, the grapes undergo gentle pressing followed by natural fermentation in 100 year old casks, where they also receive some lees ageing. Josmeyer’s wines are characterised by freshness, complexity and minerality, with each of the 5 terroirs contributing to different expressions of the grapes. These are true wines of character, and though their labels may suggest a certain playfulness, they are certainly serious wines.

100% Riesling.

Residual sugar = ~5g/litre (ie just-about fully dry, sugar just becoming detectable).

Riesling Le Dragon Domaine Josmeyer is a dry, pure, biodynamic Riesling with citrus notes, subtle texture and racy acidity. Inspired by the local legend of a dragon which fought the sun, lost and retreated to the cave at the top of the Drachenloch vineyard - where this wine is grown - to die. The cave shelters the southwest-facing slopes creating one of the warmest micro climates in the area, known as Petit Senegal. This is a dry style of Riesling characterised by citrus fruit flavours and an acidity well balanced by the body.

ABV= 12.5%. 

£25.05

Trimbach Pinot Gris Reserve 2016 (1x75cl)

The Trimbachs have a purist vision. For three centuries and across 13 generations, the family has produced wines that are structured, longlived, fruity, elegant and balanced: the celebrated Trimbach style. The family personally looks after each operation, from planting to harvests and from vinification to bottling. The viticultural origin of the Trimbach family dates back to 1626, when Jean Trimbach, was recognized as a citizen of Riquewihr. From then on, the Trimbach’s were renowned for their wine-growing. Maison Trimbach’s vineyards are all situated around Ribeauville (Ribeauville, Hunawihr, Bergheim, Rorschwihr, Riquewihr and Mittlewihr). They benefit from the unique Alsatian microclimate, thanks to the Vosges Mountains protection, which preserves the plain from the rain. The vineyards were planted on the Ribeauville’s fault line that fractured 50 million years ago between the Vosges Mountain range and the Black Forest offering a mosaic of terroirs including the complex calcareous limestone and bio-degraded seashell fossils called “Muschelkalk”.

Trimbach Réserve wines are the result of a rigorous selection from mostly old vineyards in Ribeauvillé and the surrounding villages, producing more complex wines with longer ageing potential.

Sourced from the Trimbach’s family’s own vineyards and from growers with whom the family has long-term relationships. The wine is fermented to complete dryness in temperature-controlled stainless steel and concrete vats. There is no secondary malolactic fermentation in order to maintain as much natural acidity as possible. Bottles remain in the cellar for several years before reaching the marketplace, ensuring the wines are both ready to drink upon release but also hold great ageing potential.

100% Pinot Gris.

Bright, pale gold with aromas of juicy peaches and ripe pear. Full-bodied with ripe smokey tropical fruit flavours and a long nutty finish. Perfect as an aperitif or with fish, shellfish, poultry and lighter pastas.

ABV = 13.5%.

£17.50

Trimbach Pinot Gris Reserve Personnelle 2016 (1x75cl)

The 2012 vintage was awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status in the May 2018 edition of Decanter article: World's Best Pinot Gris Buys.

Trimbach Pinot Gris Reserve Personnelle 2012 - May 2018 Decanter review

Earning a listing for one of your wines at a Michelin-starred restaurant is a proud moment – so what must it be like to be featured by every single three Michelin-starred restaurant in France (that’s 27 in total)? It’s an accolade that reflects the historic excellence and purist vision of F. E. Trimbach, unquestionably one of the great names of Alsace and a family business that can trace its origins all the way back to 1626. Thirteen generations later, brothers Bernard and Hubert, plus Bernard’s sons, Pierre and Jean, and granddaughter Anne – remain true to the philosophy handed down to them by their 19th century ancestor, Frédéric Emile (the man who put the “F.E.” into F. E. Trimbach).

Trimbach Pinot Gris Reserve Personnelle is only made from grapes harvested in the best vintages from the choicest vineyard plots. This results in rich, weighty, opulent wines which can take many years to develop their full potential. The grapes for the Trimbach Pinot Gris Reserve Personnelle come from the Grand Cru Osterberg vineyard. The grapes are picked by hand and pressed very gently in a pneumatic press. The juice runs into the cellar by gravity and clarifies naturally prior to fermentation. The juice ferments in stainless steel at controlled temperature for 2-3 weeks. In this case the fermentation stopped naturally and some (but very little) residual sugar is now balanced by good ripe acidity to give this wine a beautiful balance. These grapes were picked at excellent richness level, around 14° potential alcohol. The wine is not oak aged, as the Trimbachs believe that wood gives nothing to their wines, the salient characteristics of which are extreme purity and concentrated fruit. Bottling is early to preserve freshness and wines then bottle-aged before leaving the winery.

100% Pinot Gris.

Toasted nuts, marzipan and salinity underscore the peach and apple fruit here. A hint of honey adds nobility and relatively high acidity adds primary juiciness in the long, fascinatingly smoky, nutty, and mineral finish.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

ABV = 13.5%.

£28.95 £24.50

Trimbach Riesling Cuvee Frederic Emile 2011 (1x75cl)

** LIMITED STOCK FOR IMMEDIATE DESPATCH, BUT MORE STOCK AVAILABLE. DO, BY ALL MEANS ORDER MORE THAN SHOWN BELOW; ORDERS (FOR QUANTITIES BEYOND IMMEDIATE STOCK SHOWN) PLACED BY 9 AM ON A MONDAY WILL BE WITH US FOR LUNCHTIME DESPATCH ON THE WEDNESDAY. **

The 2010 vintage was awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2018 article on Sweetness in Wine (see blue link below).

Trimbach Riesling Cuvee Frederic Emile 2010  - Nov 2018 Decanter review

This wine was named after Frédéric Emile who became famous for providing a new guarantee of quality and authenticity for Trimbach in 1898. The prestigious signature wine of the house, the “Cuvée Frédéric Emile” is highly prized by connoisseurs and collectors.

The south and south-east facing Ribeauvillé terroirs and Grand Crus of Geisberg and Osterberg which overlook the Trimbach winery have been the source of this wine for several generations. Trimbach took the bold decision of not mentioning the Grand Cru on the label back in the 70’s. Today, Cuvée Frédéric Emile is considered a benchmark of Grand Crus Riesling even though the label does not state the names of the vineyards. 

The average age of the vines, 45 years, results in limited yields. The marl-limestone-sandstone and fossil-flecked Muschelkalk composition of the terroir, as well as the beautifully ripe grapes selected and harvested at the end of October lend this wine a remarkable personality: a dry and powerful Riesling, underlined by a mineral note and firm ripe acidity.

This wine pairs well with gourmet foods, particularly quality fish, caviar, and fine white meats. “Cuvée Frédéric Emile” vintages age for at least twenty years.

£38.60

Trimbach Riesling Reserve 2018 (1x75cl)

Earning a listing for one of your wines at a Michelin-starred restaurant is a proud moment – so what must it be like to be featured by every single three Michelin-starred restaurant in France (that’s 27 in total)? It’s an accolade that reflects the historic excellence and purist vision of F. E. Trimbach, unquestionably one of the great names of Alsace and a family business that can trace its origins all the way back to 1626. Thirteen generations later, brothers Bernard and Hubert, plus Bernard’s sons, Pierre and Jean, and granddaughter Anne – remain true to the philosophy handed down to them by their 19th century ancestor, Frédéric Emile (the man who put the “F.E.” into F. E. Trimbach).

The “Réserve” quality is the result of a rigorous selection of fully-ripe grapes from the Ribeauvillé region. It defines a structured, balanced wine, which is both fruity and subtle.

100% Riesling. 

White flowers, lemon notes and minerality touch on the nose. Fresh and vibrant, grapefruit and citrus, white peach, this wine has a long finish which is a sign of a beautiful future for the wine. This elegant Riesling, dry and precise, is a worthy accompaniment to a wide variety of dishes. It pairs well with sauerkraut, fish (fried, grilled, smoked, in a sauce, raw…), and white meats. The best vintages can be kept for ten years.

ABV = 14.0%.

£20.10 £17.85
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