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MWG November 13th tasting: Natural born Alsatians

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Alsace Pinot Blanc 2013, Les Pierres Chaudes, Domaine Julien Meyer ($27.43, private import, 12 bottles/case)
100% organically and biodynamically farmed Pinot Blanc. (This is not the blend of the 2012 and 2013 vintages labelled 12.13 but the all-2013 bottling.) Manually harvested. Fermented with indigenous yeasts. Underwent partial malolactic fermentation. Lightly filtered (fine earth) before bottling. Unfined. No added anything, including sulphur. 12.5% ABV. Quebec agent: La QV/Insolite.
A Pinot Blanc not in the vin plaisir mould, as hinted at by the savoury nose of mushroom and daffodil. The acidic attack notwithstanding, the wine feels hefty and “rainwatery soft,” to quote one of the tasters. Full of ripe fruit (pear and apple mainly), bitter almond and chalk flavours. Broad, smooth finish. (Buy again? Sure, though not without wishing it were a few bucks cheaper.)

Alsace Riesling 1998, Grand cru Moenchberg, Domaine Moritz ($33.35, private import, 6 bottles/case)
100% Riesling from two Moenchberg parcels – one planted in 1985, the other in 1960 – totalling 14.6 ares (0.36 acres). Farming is, for all intents and purposes, organic but not certified as such. Manually harvested, gently pressed, fermented with indigenous yeasts and matured in large old oak barrels. Bottled in the fall of 1999. In a typical year, about 1,000 bottles of this wine are made. 12% ABV. Quebec agent: La QV/Insolite.
Fourteen years old and probably at peak. A noseful of tertiary aromas including petrol, tarragon, caramel and peppermint. Smooth and dry in the mouth with just enough acidity and lots of ripe, soft fruit. Quartz and caramel thread through the very long finish. A good, not great vintage but a lovely, complex wine and an excellent price for a one-and-a-half-decade-old grand cru. (Buy again? Yes, for drinking in the short term.)

(Flight: 3/9)

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Written by carswell

November 26, 2014 at 16:07

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