TN's: Vietnamese Dinner with Alsatian Wines

ALSATIAN WINES WITH VIETNAMESE FOOD - S Restaurant, Westminster, CA (5/27/2009)
Our local tasting group gathered at S Restaurant in Westminster the theme being wines of Alsace. The restaurant was a new one for most of us that came with some notoriety. We all found the food very well prepared in more of an upscale fashion. A pricier side of Vietnamese cuisine that is probably struggling though in this economy as they could use some more business. I would recommend that they get more. Good stuff.

Our crowd was smaller than usual but we managed to come up with some winning wines. I’m not the biggest Alsatian fan by any stretch but I do like what they do with Gewurztraminer there(and rarely anywhere else) and I especially like those with age. For me the two Albert Mann Gewurzs and the Schoffit Riesling were tied for tops.

  • 2004 Albert Mann Gewurztraminer Furstentum Vieilles Vignes - France, Alsace, Kientzheim & Sigolsheim, Alsace Grand Cru AOC
    Plenty of ginger character and lot’s of residual sugar in contrast to the Steingrubler. I would have though 2004 was the more lean vintage as well so I am wondering if this is the style for the vineyard. Very good wine though but would like to try it in 10 years or whenever the sugar integrates.
  • 2005 Albert Mann Gewurztraminer Steingrubler - France, Alsace, Wettolsheim, Alsace Grand Cru AOC
    Tart gingery nose. Juicy feel now with sweet fruit but little if any residual sugar. Dry finish. Good purity here and a balanced Gewurz expression but uneven in a young way. A very nice wine that will be better with time in the cellar.
  • 2007 Albert Mann Pinot Blanc - France, Alsace, Alsace AOC
    Flowery nose. Touch of sweetness on the palate but leads to a dry finish. Nice white peach and white flower flavors. Pleasant and balanced.
  • 2007 Albert Mann Riesling Cuvée Albert - France, Alsace, Alsace AOC
    Very dry, light and lean. Strong citrus juice character. Don’t my style of Riesling.
  • 2006 Schoffit Chasselas Vieilles Vignes - France, Alsace, Alsace AOC
    Spicy aromatically expressive nose showing some ginger and white florals. This made me think of a dry Scheurebe on the palate with a touch of herbal spices and the aromatics still coming into play. A first time with this variety for me and I found it good but not necessarily compelling. I would think many fans of Alsace and Loire whites would be interested in this though.
  • 2005 Schoffit Riesling Harth Cuvée Tradition - France, Alsace, Thann, Alsace AOC
    Oily nose. Very lively palate with lot’s of fruit, very dry showing some lime and diesel. Rich with a tart finish. Impressive wine. Should go for quite a while but good intense Riesling character today. Very good.
  • 1996 Klein aux Vieux Remparts Riesling Burgreben - France, Alsace, Alsace AOC
    Similar to my last go around though the nose this time seem dominated by some musty mushroom like aromas. Lean and austere with slight lime character and some mineral qualities on the finish. Drink up as the acid has outlived the fruit.
  • 2005 Trimbach Gewurztraminer - France, Alsace, Alsace AOC
    Soft and round. Spices and very dry. Lacks a finish. Would be hard pressed to name this from Alsace blind. Not one of Trimbach’s better efforts.

Posted from CellarTracker

Cris, how did these pair with the food? I find Vietnamese kind of challenging to pair wines with - the dishes I tend to order are generally less assertive, more subtle than, say, Thai, and I haven’t found a really satisfying pairing yet. Did the reislings, gewurtzes, or the pinot blanc seem better suited to the food? I usually give up and just have a beer.

Love Vietnamese food and with Gewurz nonetheless, sounds great and thanks for the notes Chris, your living well.

Very dish dependent Steve. There are a wide variety of styles of food I have found with Vietnamese and S Restaurant was not exception. Red meats, sea food, spring rolls, Pho…I would think you would want to have something in mind before you go honestly. I know that sounds like a cop out but the styles of meals don’t seem as cohesive as other ethnic foods can to me. Beer obviously is a good choice in that circumstance as well. :smiley:

I don’t think it’s a cop out at all, that’s my problem with Vietnamese as well - the dishes that sound interesting to me are all over the map. I think I’ll stick with the beer for now.

Nice post! [cheers.gif]
Had the chance to do a wine pairing dinner there last year that David Scales from MAWL put together. Did he do this one? He pretty much rocks. David made all the pairings and the dinner was amazing. Lots of Vietnamese-fusion seafood dishes paired with Rieslings, pinot & chenin blanc. That Bott-Geyl Riesling rocked my world.

do you have the notes of the smorgasbord of wines we had at Benley’s that one time last summer Cris? Or was it two summers ago?

Veronica, this was not a David event though I’ve heard he has done some. I’ve been to his shop a few times and he does do a great job.

Charlie, they might be archived elsewhere but I do not have them in CT. That was a pretty big one. We need to hit Benley again.

yeah, my brother’s gone 3 times since we went that one time and he’s loved it. Corkage is now $10 a btl since they acquired an alcohol license (I’m sure someone could figure a way around that puppy!)