Alsace is located in the northeast corner of France along the border with Germany. In the past 300 years, Alsace had its share of wars and golden ages and changed nationalities 6 times between German and French. The culture, language, cuisine, architecture and wine of Alsace is a mixture of both nations.
Following the German model, wines of Alsace are bottled in long narrow “flute” bottles and labeled after the grape variety (not common in the French tradition).
Over 90% of the wines produced in Alsace are made from white grape varieties. There are 7 main grapes, among which are 4 noble grape varieties, described below.
Alsace Riesling – German grape variety - is austere yet elegant, fresh yet rich, high acidity with a range of flavours from delicate citrus fruits to rich characteristics of tropical, flowers, honey, and spices. Opulent, aromatic with high sugar and acidity levels, with fruity and floral characteristics ranging from citrus notes to stone fruits to tropical fruits, developing honey, toasty notes when aged.
Alsace Gewurztraminer (“spicy” traminer) is aromatic with high sugar levels and intense flavours of lychee, exotic fruits, rose, elderflower, spices, ginger and honey characteristics.
Alsace Pinot Gris is rich in colour and on the palate. Full-bodied, round with dried fruit characteristics, honey, smoky, savoury balanced with refreshing acidity.
Alsace Muscat is delicate yet expressive with aroma characteristics of musk, peach, honey and floral.
Alsace’s unique location boasts of a continental climate protected by the Vosges Mountains from the west rain-bearing winds. The dry, hot and sunny conditions enable the grapes to undergo slow ripeness developing complexity and cool nights preserving acidity.
Alsace AOC was only implemented in 1962. If a grape variety is specified on the label, it must be 100% of that grape. With a diversity of 13 major soil types and microclimates, 51 vineyard sites are awarded individual Alsace Grand Cru AOC as of 2012, representing only 4% of the total production. Only the 4 noble grape varieties are authorized for these single varietal wines, though there are exceptions.
Alsace also produces sparkling wines in the traditional method under the Crémant d’Alsace AOC offering refreshingly elegant sparkling wines.
Two label terms that you may see on Alsace wines are Vendanges Tardives (late harvest) and Selection de Grains Nobles (grapes affected by noble rot). These wines are only applicable to the 4 noble grape varieties and are produced in certain years and are considered quite rare – they have higher residual sugar with intense aromatic complexity with balanced acidity.
Alsace wines, with its exciting rich structure and fresh acidity, make pairing with food an easy task.
With such extraordinary diversity, any Alsace wine you choose to drink will certainly offer a uniquely enjoyable experience.
Regular $133.00 SPECIAL $115.00
Regular $162.00 SPECIAL $139.00
Regular $219.00 SPECIAL $189.00
Regular $175.00 SPECIAL $152.00
Regular $332.00 SPECIAL $260.00