Alsace tasting 2013-1989 - but no Riesling

Really enjoyable tasting with Bristol’s Jeroboam Club last night. I loved the concept of focusing on Pinot Gris and Geurz, leaving out the Riesling that would normally dominate such tastings.

Gewurztraminer 2013 – Rolly Gassmann
Plump, ripe, Turkish delight character on the nose. A simple, but very varietal, expression that’s just slightly warm. I’d estimate about 18g/l RS here. A touch floral on the finish. 15/20

Pinot Gris ‘Calcaire’ 2013 – Zind-Humbrecht
Colour just moving into straw. Evolved, slightly honeyed and complex aroma. Earthy notes with some pepper. Bright, spicy, tangy palate with orange blossom tones. Dry with nervy acidity and marked dry extract. Chalky finish. 16.5/20

Pinot Gris Grand Cru ‘Heimbourg’ 2013 – Zind-Humbrecht
Paler colour than the calcaire. Intense perfume is more taut and mineral than the previous. Glassy, high tensile and very compact. Peppery and long. A delicate kiss of RS but still dry. Juicy, snappy fruit. 17/20

Pinot Gris ‘Rottleibel’ 2001 – Rolly Gassmann
Mid-gold. Very perfumed and floral. Delicate, sweet (fruit) and elegant. The nose is quite reserved but the palate is expressive, spicy and lively. Has line, energy and length leading to a spicy finish. 17.5/20

Pinot Gris Grand Cru ‘Furstentum’ 1995 – Albert Mann
Burnished colour and mature, oxidative nose. Waxy notes. Cool and silky with a mature Riesling-like mushroom tone. Full profile but fades on the finish. 16/20

Pinot Gris Grand Cru ‘Clos St Imer Cuvee la Chapelle Goldert’ 1993 – Ernest Burn
Almost amber colour. Mature with marmalade and waxy characters. Oxidative and starting to decline but is clinging on to life. The finish drops away and it lacks some intensity but the mid-palate is still very satisfying. 15.5/20

Pinot Gris ‘Clos Jebsal’ 1993 – Zind-Humbrecht
Earthy, funky, not 100% clean aromas. Some yellow stone fruit and wax. Palate is rich, full and vital – full of life and energy. Strong line. Complex mid-palate and texture. Long, apricot finish. 18/20

Gewurztraminer ‘Calcaire’ 2013 – Zind-Humbrecht
Expressive nose of floral notes and blossom. Has a whiff of attractive mineral reduction. Very flattering. In the 12-15g/l RS range but beautiful balancing acidity. Lovely clean lines and tension for Gewurz – bright and sleek. 16/20

Gewurztraminer Grand Cru ‘Goldert’ 2013 – Zind-Humbrecht
Similar colour to the Calcaire but has a richer, Turkish delight scent. Fleshy apricot fruit is matched to a spicy, chalky character. Lots of extract. Pure, graceful mid-palate and a broad finish. 17/20

Gewurztraminer Grand Cru ‘Clos Windsbuhl’ 2010 – Zind-Humbrecht
Restrained, smoky and spicy perfume. Gorgeous citrus rind fruit on the palate. Blossom-scented, delicate and floral. Light on its feet with great sense of light and shade and huge energy. 18.5/20

Gewurztraminer Grand Cru ‘Kitterle’ 2001 – Schlumberger
Stunning, spicy, gingerbread aroma. Very complex. More candied ginger bread and spice on the palate. Touch less taut than the Z-H 2010 but silky and delicate. Love that ginger character. 17/20

Pinot Gris Grand Cru ‘Altenbourg’ 1997 VT – Albert Mann
Reserved, funky and earthy nose. Crisp and compact on the palate. Holds together nicely with control and precision. More about richness and texture than about Pinot Gris but has lovely spice to it. Big finish. 17/20

Gewurztraminer Grand Cru ‘Clos des Capucins’ 1989 VT – Weinbach / Faller
Golden colour with a piercing, almost Riesling-esque, nose of kerosene but also spice and depth. Very spritely palate with fine balance and juicy apricot fruit. Pitch perfect, with light and shade, poise and delicacy. 18.5/20

Gewurztraminer ‘Cuvee Anne’ 1989 SGN – Schlumberger
Deep amber colour. Burned sugar, smoke and spice on the nose. Very rich and full. There is acid and sparkle but it lacks definition in favour of mass. Just a touch flabby. Massive but not nuanced or detailed. 17.5/20


Excellent notes. Thanks so much. Every time I drink a Gewurztraminer I wonder why I do not drink more. It’s so darned yummy.

Too true. I’ve banged through a few Leon Beyer Comtes d’Eghuisheim 1989s recently and they’ve been fantastic.

Weinbach/Faller although more expensive do deliver.

Can’t tell from your notes…except a couple of them…though I assume so…were are/most of these wines sweet on the palate?

The VTs and SGN were sweet! I put RS estimates on a couple that were notably sweet but otherwise these were thickly dry albeit within the off dry context of the region. In other words don’t assume bone dry but no sweet surprises unless noted to the contrary.

r.s. levels, per se, in Alsace don’t tell the whole story, which is why I ask. The balancing acidity can often make wines with considerable r.s. seem dry.

When I read notes on Alsace wines…I look for the taster’s impression of sweetness or not. For use at the table, to me, that’s vital.

“dry…albeit within the off dry context of the region”… [rofl.gif]