A Terrific Alsace Trio
I don’t drink a lot of Alsace wines, yet when I do, I remind myself to drink them more often. The same scenario repeated itself over the last week, as I tasted these three wines. So many wines, so little time. This time around, I’m thoroughly motivated to buy here, especially the Pinots, which offer fantastic value.
Louis Sipp 2014 Pinot Blanc Nature’S 12.5% $16
Appararently, the deep and heavy soils around Ribeauvillé are good for Pinot Blanc, and you can feel them in this bottling’s dry, hearty and compact mid-palate saturated with savoriness. Though youthful in character, it’s not a fresh-and-fruity wine style, so sippers (I couldn’t resist writing that) looking for a more accessible style should veer elsewhere. Those appreciating this style will love this wine’s mouthfilling quality that ultimately subsides into a slightly phenolic, enticingly biting finish that makes it brilliant for the table, especially with cream-based poultry dishes, sausages and veal. This wine and its lingering finish blow me away.
Albert Mann 2013 Pinot Gris Hengst Grand Cru 13.5% $38
Lush, sophisticated and seamlessly structured, this rounded and supple Grand Cru shows immediate appeal. The nose smells of cinnamon-sprinkled poached pears and hints at Calvados. The palate plunges into a more exotic array of fruits with white peaches and yellow tomatoes. There’s light, becoming and well-balanced sweetness here, like in many of the Mann wines for at least a decade, that lends this wine to pairing well with triple cream cheeses and anything served en croute, or in pastry crust. Certified in organic farming by Ecocert since 2000, all of the vineyards of the estate became biodynamic certified by Biodyvin in 2010.
François Baur 2013 Pinot Noir Schlittweg 13% $20
It’s rare to find Pinot Noir at or under $20 that is particularly satisfying. Well, here one is. Its ripe nose is packed with mulberries and blueberries, both lighly underlined by damp earth nuance. The lightly plump mid-palate is pleasantly sticky with glycerol. Thanks to moderate complexity, the wine has a solidly medium finish and the ability to hang on a few years though it is drinking very well now. The François Baur family farms all of their vineyards biodynamically.