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Showing posts with label Pinot Blanc. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pinot Blanc. Show all posts

04 February 2013

Alsace: Cave de Turckheim: big French co-ops part 2

Riesling 'Brand' from
www.cave-turckheim.com
Continuing this compelling mini-mini-series on large but good French co-op wineries and their wines, which I started on my other blog with this post: Rhône: Cave de Tain: big co-ops part 1... Cave de Turckheim was founded post-War and is a substantial vineyard owner in the must-tour region of Alsace nestling on France's eastern border with Germany, separated by the River Rhein yet sharing certain grape varieties and a long mutual history (not always a happy one, mind you) and aspects of culture (the hearty local food springs to mind). Anyway, you've probably tried a white wine from Turckheim, especially their always consistent Gewurztraminer available under many different guises and own-labels throughout the world. But the winery's 200+ co-op members also own plots in some stunning vineyard sites such as the Brand (meaning 'burnt' in the same sense as the northern Rhone's Cote Rotie, i.e. it gets a lot of sunshine) Grand Cru, as you'll see from my glowing notes on their superb Riesling and other varietals sourced from this steep slope of vines overlooking the twee town of Turckheim. And their 'old-vine' wines can be surprisingly good too, even from a scorned and usually rather characterless variety like Sylvaner. The man in charge of winemaking and vineyards here is Michel Lihrmann, by the way.

I tasted these wines with export director Emmanuelle Gallis on their UK importer's stand, Boutinot Wines, at the London International Wine Fair last year (yet more forgotten-about notes...). Prices quoted below are in euros per bottle for cases of three bought in France cellar door or on-line, to give you an idea. In the UK, their 'standard' Gewurz sells for about £7-£8; so the Pinot would be about £6, I'd guess, the Brands about £15-£17 and going up to £18-£20 for their sumptuous late harvest Gewurz.


2011 Pinot Blanc - nice crisp 'mineral' tones vs light honeyed flavours, has a bit of substance too and attractive fresh bite. €5.45
2009 Sylvaner vieilles vignes - nutty rounded and concentrated vs crisp tight mouth-feel, delicious maturing notes with long tasty finish. Surprising. €5.95
2008 Riesling vieilles vignes - turning oily and mineral edged, intense pure Riesling style with zesty crisp vs oily palate, very long and fine with stylish finish. Classic dry Riesling. €7.95
2007 Riesling Grand Cru Brand - maturing 'kerosene' (!) tones with floral mineral nuances, rich and concentrated, beautiful Riesling style, intense with 'cut' and huge length. Superb. €15.35
2008 Pinot Gris Grand Cru Brand - lush and honeyed, very ripe and full-bodied vs lovely bite and length, spicy rich finish. Delicious again. €15.35
2008 Gewurztraminer vieilles vignes - intense lychee and rose water aromas and flavours, full and rounded vs tight intense and long mouth-feel, crisp vs aromatic 'sweet' fruit. €10.20
2010 Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Brand - relatively closed up to start with, very lychee on the palate, big and fruity vs again has freshness and class, powerful too then closes up a little. Needs a few years to develop. €15.95
2008 Gewurztraminer vendanges tardives - oily honeyed aromas with exotic lychee and mango, rich and sweet vs lovely 'cut' and length, beautiful balance and class with fresh acidity vs exotic fruit. €17.50 50cl.

More Alsace producers and wines HERE: e.g. Martin Schaetzel and Eblin-Fuchs.
And previously on this blog: Juilen FreyEguisheim co-opBeer of the moment: FischerAndré KleinknechtDomaine Josmeyer and several more in this 2007 piece: Organically focused on Alsace Riesling...

11 May 2012

Austria: Werner Michlits, Burgenland

Egg-shaped vats at Meinklang
The Michlits family - namely Anneliese, Werner, Johannes and Lukas - estate is a comforting back-to-nature flashback in time (apart from those splendidly quirky egg-shaped concrete vats - see photo - which have become the trendy thing to ferment your wine in apparently), as vines are just one of the 'foodstuffs' that receive their undivided biodynamic attention (and the fruit is turned into grape juice and wine). They also grow apples (and make apple juice, brandy and vinegar), cereals (transformed into beer) and sunflowers and rear cattle (you'll notice a bit of a cow/bull theme on their website and labels), pigs and horses too! The most planted grape varieties here are the red Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch, pretty typical of the warmer Burgenland region in eastern Austria, followed by other reds Blauburgunder (Pinot Noir) and St. Laurent plus a smidgen of 30+ year-old Cabernet Sauvignon, the region's oldest Cab I'm told.
On the white front, which I focused on tasting at this year's Millésime Bio wine show held in Montpellier a few months ago, they have Welschriesling (Laski Rizling, "Italian" Riesling or Graševina among other synonyms; but it's not Riesling Riesling the experts say), Weißburgunder (Pinot Blanc), Grüner Veltliner and Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris). The farm, actually the most appropriate word, has been run organically since 1980 and is now Demeter registered. And, as if all of this wasn't enough to keep them busy, they have a small vineyard across the border in Somló, Hungary, hence the ever-so-familiar (not!), and rather delicious in fact, Juhfark varietal wine noted below; as well as more familiar, although much trickier to pronounce Hárslevelü. Like your style! More info, and a selection of nice little red and green cows doubling up as links, @ www.meinklang.at.

Meinklang Grüner Veltliner 2011 - aromatic and peppery nose, intense zingy green fruity mouth-feel with lively finish, nice refreshing style. €7.60 cellar door.
Graupert 2011 (Pinot Gris) - quite rich and honeyed countered by attractive spice tones, big mouthful with creamy oily texture/flavours vs crisp tight finish; good characterful stuff. €13.60
Juhfark 2010 - also lush textured with exotic fruit style, concentrated vs steely palate with lots of flavour and finish. Very good though dear at nearly €20 a bottle.
Weißburgunder Eiswein 2008 - complex dried fruits, honey and marmalade vs intense lively acidity, lush sweet dried fruit finish vs steely cut. Wow, lovely wine.


LOTS MORE AUSTRIA HERE (Pfaffl, Grüner Veltliner Galore, "I'll be back..." and other archive features) or see post below: Sepp Moser.

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