Una serie di assaggi di Ian D’Agata per TerroirSense.com
2016 Crémant d’Alsace Brut Nature Alsace
Pale straw green. Lively aromas of white stone fruit, chamomile and ripe citrus fruit. Nicely juicy and shapely, with enticing fresh fruit and welcome creaminess to the fruit flavours. A nice mouthful of Crémant and a very solid bubbly from Alsace boasting rising complexity and depth the longer you let it breathe. This blend of 50% Pinot Gris, 40% Auxerrois, 5% Pinot Blanc, and 5% Riesling spent three years on the lees and did a full malolactic.
2016 Crémant Riesling Brut Nature Alsace
Pale straw-green. Musky aromas of lime, quinine and minerals. Boasts good flavour intensity in the mouth, delivering a clean fresh mouthful of green apple and spicy herbal flavours. Closes long, dry and minerally, with good cut and clarity. This Riesling bubbly spent 30 months on the lees and tastes almost shockingly dry with its 0.8 g/L r.s. and 6.3 g/L total acidity.
2017 Crémant D’Alsace Rosé Brut Alsace
Medium-full red-ruby. The perfumed nose combines black cherry, strawberry, and smoke on the nose and in the mouth. Ripely fruity and nicely concentrated, with little in the way of tannins to get in the way of the pure, unadulterated plump fruit that each sip delivers in spades. This very fruity (very plummy) pink bubbly features a repeating hint of smoke (even of varnish) on the long and juicy, if slightly simple, finish. All in all, this is pretty irresistible and lots of fun to drink. 100% Pinot Noir.
2019 Pinot Noir Réserve Alsace
Very good full deep red. Aromas and flavours of red cherry, plum, and tobacco have a strong glyceral quality but the oak is really dominating everything else presently. Still a bit of acidity to be absorbed but there also good ripeness and sweetness here. Differently from the 2018, the 2019 was aged in 50% in new demi-muids (in 500 litre foudres). Drinking window: 2024-2030
2018 Pinot Noir Alsace
Medium red-ruby. Sappy aromas of clean red cherry and spices, with a delicate floral topnote. Then juicy and spicy, with a light pinot texture and noteworthy verve. Not fleshy or complex, but offers a pleasant, easygoing tipple, finishing with decent grip. Aged only in stainless steel. Drinking window: 2023-2028
2018 Edelzwicker Réserve Alsace
Bright straw green. Very fragrant and fresh aromas and flavours of apple, pear, chamomile and candied quince. The aftertaste is clean and fresh and boasts real persistence for an Edelzwicker. Readers might like to know that the candied quince note comes from ripe Sylvaner grapes; and in fact, the fruit used to make this wine is from the young Sylvaner vines not used to make the estate’s famous Sylvaner Vieilles Vignes bottling. Besides Sylvaner, this historic Alsatian blended wine also contains Chasesselas, Gewurtraminer, Auxerrois, and Pinot Blanc), though it is mostly made up by Pinot Blanc and Sylvaner. In a sign of the success they are having wth Sylvaner, the Dirlers are replanting Sylvaner in both the Bux and Schwarzberg lieux-dits (the latter is characterized by a poorer soil that gives more elegant wines, while the former is more clay-rich and there Sylvaner just seems to thrive especially well). Drinking window: now-2026
2018 Pinot Réserve Alsace
Pale straw-yellow. Pure, rather spicy aromas and flavours of ripe yellow peach, pepper and ginger, complicated by a touch of honey and white flowers. Transmits a sense of good power and thrust but this is also quite elegant. A 50% Pinot Blanc and Auxerrois blend that though is not free of residual sugar (4.5 g/L r.s.) tastes completely dry thanks to solid, harmonious acidity (5.34 g/L). Drinking window: now-2026
2018 Sylvaner Vieilles Vignes Alsace
Good full green-tinged yellow color. Floral, minty nose, with a hint of exotic fruits. Supple and fairly dense, with very harmonious acidity nicely lifting and extending the orchard fruit, floral and herbal flavours on the long back end. Very well delineated and balanced (3.6 g/L r.s. and 4.6 g/L), this finishes with solid grip and a rich, suave mouthfeel. Half the grapes used ti make this standout white wine come from the 60 years old vines in the Kessler Grand Cru with the other half made up of 50 years old vines growing in the Bux lieu-dit (farmed biodynamically since over twenty years now). Drinking window: now-2029
2018 Muscat Alsace
Pale straw-green colour. Lovely perfumed lift to the aromas of citrus peel, mint and tarragon. Juicy, brisk and light on its feet, this also has outstanding inner-mouth perfume of herbs and licorice, nicely framed by a touch of smooth tannin. Closes long brisk and juicy, with very good balance (2.46 r.s. and 3.55 g/L total acidity). The intense perfume and light body of this outstanding wine tells you it is 100% Muscat Ottonel. Drinking window: now-2026
2018 Muscat Spiegel Alsace
Pale yellow with green highlights. Limey fruit and white flowers soar from the glass. A citrussy quality nicely frames the minty orchard and stone fruit flavours. Finishes with very good cut and lingering mineral character. A blend of 97% Ottonel and 3% Muscat d’Alsace, this boasts a paltry 2.85 g/L r.s. and tastes bone dry. Drinking window: now-2029
2018 Muscat Saering Alsace
Straw-green. Subtle notes of mint and white flowers complement grapefruit and anise aromas. Fresh and bright, with lovely inner-mouth lift to its lime blossom and mint flavours, this finishes long, juicy and lively. A blend of 55% Muscat Ottonel and 45% Muscat d’Alsace, this boasts 5.21 g/L r.s and 6.29 g/L total acidity. Drinking window: now-2026
2018 Riesling Alsace
Pale yellow-green. Bright aromas of lime and lemon verbena. Then juicy but pliant, with aromatic herb and spice nuances complicating the apple and lime fruit flavours. Closes with a touch of powdered rock and good persistence. At 3.9 g/L r.s. and 5.68 g/L total acidity this tastes fairly dry and taut. Pair it with oysters and you won’t look back. Drinking window: now-2026
2018 Riesling Kitterlé Alsace
Good straw colour. Mint and anise dominate on the nose and in the mouth, where some late-hitting rochard fruit notes help contrast the herbal presence. The aftertaste is clean, fresh and saline. Less sweet than their 2018 Riesling Saering, but each of these simple, easygoing wines will have its share of fans. Drinking window: now-2028
2018 Riesling Saering Alsace
Good pale yellow-green. Lime, underripe pineapple and crushed rocks on the nose. Juicy acidity gives a pungent quality to the suave apple and pineapple flavours. Finishes with citrussy acidity (a link to the Oligocene limestone of the Saering’s soil), this is yet another very easy to like, well-balanced (5.21 g/L r.s. and 6.29 g/L total acidity), simple, easygoing Riesling from Dirler-Cadé in 2018. Drinking window: now-2028
2018 Riesling Spiegel Alsace
Vibrant straw-green. Aromas of lime, mint, jasmine and custard. Rich and dense, with good flesh and tannic spine, but at the same time attractively supple and fruit-driven with good persistence. Compared to Dirler-Cadé’s 2018 Rieslings from the Kitterlé and the Saering, this is a positively massive wine tat will need to be celalred for a few years before it will be ready to show all it has to offer (“A marathon runner, not a sprinter” is how Jean Dirler characterized it, teling me the wine fermented especially slowly and that it had trouble digesting all of its sugar – the grapes were so ripe at time of harvest and so packed with sugar that the yeasts weren’t able to srvive). This clocks in at a reasonable 5.69 g/L r.s. and 5.62 g/L total acidity (Dirler ended up putting it through malo so the wine tastes much rounder than it would have otherwise). Drinking window: now-2029
2018 Riesling Kessler Alsace
Good full golden-tinged yellow. Exotic aromas of ginger, smoke and orchard fruit. Fat and in a softer style than the estate’s other Grand Cru Rieslings. Then rich and ripe in the mouth too, with flavours of lichee, quince and nutmeg. Clsoes long wth a welcome wave of floral freshness building at the back. I wasn’t so thrilled by this wine, which though certainly good, I found just this side of little boring in its big-boned delivery of ripe fruit with little nuance and complexity, but it is well balanced (5.21 g/L r.s. and 5.77 g/L total acidity). Maybe it’s just me, but in the Kessler I just like Gewurztraminer and Sylvaner a lot more. Drinking window: now-2026
2018 Riesling Kessler Heisse Wanne Alsace
Bright pale yellow-gold. Aromas of yellow fruits and lichee, with suggestions of dried pineapple and honey. Then supple but also delicate, hiding its noteworthy volume well while offering an enticing combination of exotic fruits and fresh citrus fruit on the long bright finish. The numbers say that this has 7.99 g/L r.s and 5.69 g/L total acidity, but the palate tells you it’s much more penetrating than the 2018 Rielsing Kessler from this estate (the Heisse Wanne is a piece of prime vineyard real estate located in the heart of the Kessler Grand Cru) and that it’s also purer and longer. Drinking window: now-2031
2018 Pinot Gris Schimberg Alsace
Deep straw yellow. Nteas of maple syrup, caramelized poached pears and honedew melon on the ripe, sweet, fruity nose. Rich and round on entry, then sweet and spicy in the middle, with a building licorice and herbal quality on the long suave finish. This ought to work remarkably well with boiled white meats accompanied by carrots and potatoes. With 8.17 g/L r.s and only 5.52 g/L total acidity this doesn’t really come across as classicallly dry, but it’s not really that sweet either because of a noteworthy savoury component. Outstanding Pinot Gris, in the rich style that Alsace does so well, like nowhere else in the world. Drinking window: now-2028
2018 Pinot Gris Kessler Alsace
Deep, bright golden yellow. Herbs (fennel especially) and orchard fruit (both fresh and in compote) aromas and flavours. Smoothly textured and ripe, but with just enough acidity to keep this singing along your taste buds on the long sultry finish. A very hot year, so not surprisingly the grapes were packed with sugar; hence, fermentation sputtered and ultimately the wine failed to reach complete dryness. Though doubtlessly sweet, this is not cloying (25.25 g/L r.s. and 4.68 g/L total acidity). Drinking window: now-2026
2018 Pinot Gris Bux Vendanges Tardives Alsace
Good full yellow. Ripe aromas of lemon and butter, complemented by cinnamon apple pie and ripe strawberry liqueur. Sweet, fruity and thick but lifted (4.83 g/L total acidity), with ripe acids framing the flavors of soft sweet citrus fruit and peach. Broad and supple, this leaves a lasting impression of sweetness (87.63 g/L r.s.) on the bright, sexy finish. About 15% of the grapes were hit by noble rot (some were aired-dried too).
2018 Gewurztraminer Saering Alsace
Bright yellow. On the nose, this is a real spice smorgasbord: cumin, ginger, lemongrass and white pepper complement ripe orchard fruit aromas. Enters syrupy but fresh (18.7 g/L r.s. and 3.87 g/L total acidity), and dare I say (write) it, very “Gewurztraminery” (you know what I mean). Finishes classically dry and pure, not to mention long, and with repeating spicy nuances.
2018 Gewurztraminer Spiegel Alsace
Deep yellow. Reticent but fresh nose hints at spice and sweet tropical fruit. Then similar flavours to the aromas, but with an underlying green tinge that provides freshness that the estate’s other 2018 Gewurztraminers lack a little this year. Conveys very good depth of yellow fruits and floral oils finishing long and very sweet (82.37 g/L r.s. and 3.9 g/L total acidity) with a note of Chartreuse. This is a Vendanges Tardives in everything but name only.
2018 Gewurztraminer Kitterlé Vendanges Tardives Alsace
Green-tinged golden yellow colour. Highly perfumed nose offers rose petals, musky lime, ginger, quinine, and sweet spices. Juicy and well-delineated, with lovely lift in the mouth, this is broad but not heavy. The long aftertaste is very crystalline (the conglomerate soils of this grand cru play a large role here), but also nicely spicy and fairly sweet, but balanced (92.56 g/L r.s. and 4.12 g/L total acidity).
2018 Gewurztraminer Kessler Vendanges Tardives Alsace
Vibrant deep golden yellow. Brooding, subtly perfumed aromas of honey, pear, smoked meats and superripe yellow plum, complicated by smoky botrytis. Boasts similar flavours to the aromas. A massive wine, rich, sweet (100.9 g/L r.s.) and very dense, with more sheer size and texture than nuance or complexity right now. Lingers nicely on the bright fresh, nicely lifted finish thanks to harmonious acidity (3.8 g/L total acidity).
2018 Gewurztraminer Spiegel Vendanges Tardives Alsace
Pale golden yellow: this is much lighter in colour than the other Gewurzes I tasted at the estate this year. It is also fresher than the other Gewurzes, though it is still a very and dare I say appropriately sweet late harvest wine (96.11 g/L r.s buffered by 4.31 g/L total acidity). The aromas and flavours of fresh citrus fruits, floral oils and honey have a bittersweet edge and noteworthy lift thanks to cooler microclimate of this section of the Spiegel, and that impacts heavily on how the Gewurztraminer variety will behave.
2018 Gewurztraminer Spiegel Sélection de Grains Nobles Alsace
Bright medium golden orange-yellow. Intensely perfumed with rose petal and cinnamon aromas on the nose. Then sweet and luscious, with the ripe tropical fruit and sweet spice flavours lifted nicely by ripe acids and a floral component. Very clean and pure, with a creamy, rich and dense mouthfeel but also fresh and suave on the long, violet-accented finish. Boasts a whopping 156.50 g/L r.s. and 4.3 g/L total acidity; about 45% of the grapes were hit by noble rot.Fonte: Ian D'Agata - TerroirSense.com