France

Alsace

Alsace is one of the great, under-appreciated treasures of the wine world. This pretty enclave of fairytale villages is located in the lee of the forested Vosges Mountains. A historically much-disputed region, Alsace now lies on the eastern border of France, and is best known for its unique aromatic whites – which account for 90% of production – and increasingly, its Pinot Noirs.

The region lies between latitudes 47.5 degrees and 49 degrees north of the equator, giving a long, cool growing season. It is important for the vineyards to make the most of the sun’s rays, which is why most of the best vineyards are on south, south west, or south east facing slopes, sheltered from the wind by the Vosges.

Despite its germanic heritage, the traditional winemaking philosophy in Alsace is to ferment all of the grape sugar into alcohol, resulting in dry, full-bodied wines. However, wines with residual sugar are produced in particularly vintages – this includes the production of late-picked vendanges tardives and sélection de grains nobles.

Most Common Varieties

At the beginning of the 20th century, the many varieties planted in Alsace were divided into ‘noble’ and others. Of these, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris and Muscat are considered noble, however varieties such as pinot blanc, chasselas and sylvaner are also considered as major grapes.

Riesling is the most respected grape variety in Alsace, and quite rightly. Alsace Riesling is steely, sometimes tough in youth, and perhaps a little austere for newcomers. It handsomely repays ageing in bottle.

Climate change has also seen an increase in Pinot Noir grown in Alsace. It was once notably light but in an increasingly warm climate its colour is darkening and it is taking on more weight.

Despite this tradition focus on the 8 major varieites, there is a push among the current generation of winemakers to revive obscure, once-derided native varieites and clones that have almost been rendered extinct clonal selection. Marcel Deiss is a strong advocate working to reestablish these varieties as robust resource for clonal material, a project well-illustrated by his complantation cuvées. Given the personality of his wines this can only be a good thing!

Understanding Alsace Labels

The following terms may be applied only to wines made from one of the four noble varieties.

Grand Cru was recognised as an AOC in 1975, and expanded in 1983, 1992 and 2007 to grant more than 50 individual vineyards granted superior status. The words Grand Cru are no guarantee of quality as some producers have seen Grand Cru simply as an excuse to charge more rather than as an opportunity to make seriously fine wine – although admittedly the maximum permitted yields are lower than the Alsace norm. Many of Alsace’s best wines are Grands Crus, however. A few top producers such as Trimbach and Hugel have Grand Cru sites but don’t refer to them on the label.

Vendange Tardive (VT) translates directly as Late Harvest, which is indeed what these wines are. Certain minimum ripeness levels have to be met (the best producers generously exceed them) and the grapes may be picked only when official authorisation is given. The trouble with Vendange Tardive wines is that they can vary from almost dry (but quite concentrated) to really quite sweet, yet no hint of sweetness level is given on most labels. The best of these wines can be aged for many years.

Sélection de Grains Nobles (SGN) signifies a wine made from even riper grapes, often at least partly concentrated by botrytis. These relative rarities are easiest to make in the region’s sunniest years, from the obliging Gewürztraminer grape. Their sweetness level can also vary quite considerably, although individual producers will generally ensure that their SGNs are definitely sweeter than their VTs.


2017 Trimbach 'Clos Saint Hune' MAGNUM


Divine, Pure, Delicious!

Trimbach Clos Sainte Hune Riesling MAG 2017

Ask any Riesling tragic the Top 5 Rieslings in the World & they'll have Clos Sainte Hune on their list!
$1,298
$1278 in any 3+
$1258 in any 6+

The Alsatian Classic!


Explore Riesling from Alsace!

Hugel “Classic” Riesling 2019

When you devour this, concentrate on the texture ... oh so good!
$50
$47ea in any 3+. $44ea in any 6+

Kientzler: Fine & Dry


Kientzler Lieu Dit ‘Muhlforst’ Riesling 2017

I've been watching Kientzler over the last couple of years and have seen them consistently produce excellent wines from the Lieu Dit Muhlforst and the two Grand Cru vineyards of Giesberg and Osterberg. Lovely acid, all stainless, excellent purity, technical winemaking with no malo, excellent mid-palate weight and richness.  Florals, spice hint pith. Fine long. Great value here. A couple of years down the track we've scored an additional shipment of this wine. What a difference a year
$60
$57ea in any 3+
$54ea in any 6+

Schlumberger: Rich yet Refined


United by Riesling!

Domaines Schlumberger Riesling Grand Cru Kitterlé 2017

Such beautiful drinking now. This will clearly age exceptionally well too. A classic Alsatian Rizza!
$67
$64ea in any 3+
$61ea in any 6+

Filters & Sorting

Showing all 16 results

Show out of stock items
Explore Riesling from Alsace!

Hugel “Classic” Riesling 2019

When you devour this, concentrate on the texture ... oh so good!
$50
$47ea in any 3+. $44ea in any 6+

Domaine Marcel Deiss ‘Zellenberg’ 2017

Riesling ~ Auxerrois ~ Pinot Noir ~ Pinot Gris ~ Pinot Blanc = Texture, Playful, Delicious, Full of Personality!
$55
$52ea in any 3+
$49ea in any 6+

Domaine Marcel Deiss ‘Zellenberg’ 2018

Riesling ~ Auxerrois ~ Pinot Noir ~ Pinot Gris ~ Pinot Blanc = Texture, Playful, Delicious, Full of Personality!
$59
$56ea in any 3+
$53ea in any 6+

Domaine Marcel Deiss ‘Ribeauvillé’ 2018

Riesling ~ Sylvanner ~ Pinot Blanc = Seamless, Delicious, Expressive, Beautiful!
$59
$56ea in any 3+
$53ea in any 6+

Kientzler Lieu Dit ‘Muhlforst’ Riesling 2017

I've been watching Kientzler over the last couple of years and have seen them consistently produce excellent wines from the Lieu Dit Muhlforst and the two Grand Cru vineyards of Giesberg and Osterberg. Lovely acid, all stainless, excellent purity, technical winemaking with no malo, excellent mid-palate weight and richness.  Florals, spice hint pith. Fine long. Great value here. A couple of years down the track we've scored an additional shipment of this wine. What a difference a year
$60
$57ea in any 3+
$54ea in any 6+
United by Riesling!

Domaines Schlumberger Riesling Grand Cru Kitterlé 2017

Such beautiful drinking now. This will clearly age exceptionally well too. A classic Alsatian Rizza!
$67
$64ea in any 3+
$61ea in any 6+
Divine, Pure, Delicious!

Trimbach “Cuvée du Troiscentquatrevingtdixième (390th Anniversary)” Riesling 2016

Ask any Riesling tragic the Top 5 Rieslings in the World & they'll have Clos Sainte Hune on their list!
$89
$85ea in any 3+
$81ea in any 6+

Domaine Marcel Deiss 1er Cru ‘Grasberg’ 2012

Premier Cru action from Deiss! Riesling ~ Pinot Gris ~ Gewurztraminer
$114
$109ea in any 3+
$104ea in any 6+

Domaine Marcel Deiss 1er Cru ‘Burg’ 2012

Premier Cru action from Deiss! A blend of 12 Alsatian Varieties!
$114
$109ea in any 3+
$104ea in any 6+
Sublime

Trimbach ‘Cuvée Frédéric Émile’ Riesling 2012

I love the fact that Trimbach hold back there wines for so long.
$135
$130ea in any 3+
$125ea in any 6+

Domaine Marcel Deiss 1er Cru ‘Burg’ 2017

Premier Cru action from Deiss! A blend of 12 Alsatian Varieties!
$138
$133ea in any 3+
$128ea in any 6+

Domaine Marcel Deiss 1er Cru ‘Grasberg’ 2017

Premier Cru action from Deiss! Riesling ~ Pinot Gris ~ Gewurztraminer
$138
$133ea in any 3+
$128ea in any 6+

Domaine Marcel Deiss Grand Cru ‘Schoenenbourg’ 2012

Grand Cru action from Deiss! A blend of 12 Alsatian Varieties!
$230
$220ea in any 3+
$210ea in any 6+

Domaine Marcel Deiss Grand Cru ‘Altenberg de Bergheim’ 2017

Grand Cru action from Deiss! A blend of 12 Alsatian Varieties! One of the single most unique wines I've tried in the last few years!
$254
$244ea in any 3+
$234ea in any 6+
Divine, Pure, Delicious!

Trimbach Clos Sainte Hune Riesling 2016

Ask any Riesling tragic the Top 5 Rieslings in the World & they'll have Clos Sainte Hune on their list!
$560
$545ea in any 3+
$530ea in any 6+
Divine, Pure, Delicious!

Trimbach Clos Sainte Hune Riesling MAG 2017

Ask any Riesling tragic the Top 5 Rieslings in the World & they'll have Clos Sainte Hune on their list!
$1,298
$1278 in any 3+
$1258 in any 6+