31 Mar Getting To Know a Little More About Alsace Wines
For the last 20 years, wine producers in Alsace have been setting the bar a notch higher. There was a time when Alsace wines were frowned upon and people believed this wine region to be a place where sweet, sulphur-heavy and unbalanced wines were served in tacky green glasses. But the last couple of decades have seen all of that changing.
So, Where Exactly Is Alsace?
This wine growing region is located in France, just on the German border and is home to premium wines such as Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer and Riesling. Somewhat like Burgundy, this region is very thin and long and has distinct divisions of north and south – Haut Rhin and Bas Rhin. Towards the west are the Vosges Mountains that stand like a border and to the east of the region lies the Black Forest.
However, this north-south demarcation doesn’t really determine the wine’s flavouring. In this region, it’s more about the soil’s composition that affects the flavour of the wine. The region has very diverse types of soil and these have a significant impact on the wine’s flavour.
Three Outstanding Alsace Wines
If you were to pick just a select 3 Alsace wines, these are the 3 you should pick:
These are largely dry wines with flavours ranging from subtle pear, peach and citrus to more robust ones such as floral notes, exotic spices and stewed fruits. They all have pretty exciting acidity levels that balance out their rich mid-palate very well.
This is a highly aromatic wine with notes ranging from spices, and fruit flavours such as passionfruit, mango and lychee. You will also notice flavours such as cloves, gingerbread and mandarin in this wine.
#3 Pinot Gris
This intriguing wine is rich and full-bodied and has earthy aromas with hints of moss, mushroom, honey, gingerbread and dried fruit flavours.
The Most Notable Sun-Regions
There are 51 different vineyard sites that are spread across this region and the best wines are classified as Grand Cru; some of the premium wines brands of this region are:
- Altenberg de Bergheim
Alsace goes astonishingly well with many different foods and all these wines can be matched very well with various local delicacies and everyday foods. The wines complement pork and game, local vegetables and fois gras amazingly well. However, their mineral backbone, fruitiness and fragrance lend itself extremely well to Middle Eastern as well as Spicy Asian cuisine. This list should give you a good idea about Alsace food pairings:
- Riesling – Charcuterie, goat cheeses, poultry, pork dishes, seafood & most Asian cuisines.
- Pinot Gris – Game and roasted pork and ingredients such as truffles and mushrooms
- Gewürztraminer – Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and Indian cuisines
About Field-Blended Wines
Most Alsace wines are field–blended (unless stated as a single variety, on the label). When blended wines are produced in countries such as the U.S and Australia, the grapes are vinified separately and the finished wines are then blended together only at a later stage. Things are done differently in Alsace; various grape varieties grow cheek-by-jowl in the same vineyard and they are picked and fermented together as well. This helps in making the wines more harmonious, and adds to the robustness and aroma of the drink.
For information about custom wine cellar design and installation, you can call Signature Cellars on 02 9340 7515 or use this contact form to get in touch with us. We’ll be pleased to assist you and provide custom solutions that match your requirements.
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