Favorites #1: Alsace Grand Cru Pinot Gris

April 19, 2010

This section is quite self-indulgent really. It’s just a space to enthuse about my favorite wines, hopefully it might inspire you to give them a try…

So number one on the list is a ‘Grand Cru’ Alsace Pinot Gris.

A quick resume of what this means to those who have not had the pleasure of trying one of these yet: Alsace is a region of France bordering Germany, this region has exchanged hands between the two countries many times throughout history, and thus has strong influences from both sides. ‘Grand Cru’ in Alsace means this wine is produced from the best grapes in the area. Pinot Gris is the grape variety,very closely related to the Italian ‘Pinot Grigio’ (genetically at least…)

Alsace in itself is rather an unusual region in the fact that they use a selection of grape varieties that you will find almost no where else in the world. The wines come in elegant long green bottles and the wineries will often have german sounding names.
This is really one of my favorite wines. It is unusual in style compared to many white wine you may have tried but has great depth and complexity. In my family Alsace wines are mainly consumed at Christmas but do not let this put you off cracking open a bottle right this minute!

So, tasting note time:

Beblenheim Tokai Pinot Gris Grand Cru Sonnenglanz Heimburger 2007

This bottle was kindly given to me by my ex-employer and is a great example of this classic style.

The wine is pale lemon colour in the glass. On the nose it shows medium intense well-developed tropical fruit and stewed plum with honey, white blossom and sweet spice notes.

On the palate it is medium sweet, with a bit of body. The flavours are fat tropical fruit, honey and spices. Quince jelly comes to mind, of the soft sweet and delectable variety. The finish is smooth and moreish.

This is a wine that has so much to offer, it has many layered aromas and flavours that just keep going. It will match with a surprising variety of foods including foie gras, light Thai/Chinese dishes or even sweet pastries.

Despite the price tag (prob about £20) this is an investment really worth making. One for a special occasion or just to discover something different. And if it is not to your liking then there are many other grape varieties in Alsace that might tickle your taste buds. Don’t miss out!

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