Virtual Alsace June 2021
Over the last 12 months we have run many “virtual” wine tastings and the one in Alsace was so popular we have decided to have a repeat visit. Many of the wines are from the excellent 2017 vintage.
The driest wine region in France has a unique climate with its long, dry autumn providing ideal conditions for late-ripening varieties such as Riesling and Gewurztraminer, plus Pinot Grigio’s alter ego; Pinot Gris reveals what a superb variety it is when planted in the right conditions.
Alsace has four “classic” white grape varieties, the fourth one is planted in only limited quantities but the Muscat variety produces wines of sublime elegance here.
Finally, let’s not forget that Alsace also grows some outstanding Pinot Noir and we have a Grand Cru example for you to enjoy here.
All the wines are produced by top winemaker Léon Beyer and supplied by French regional wine specialist Yapps.
This is a leisurely course, 3 tastings over 5 weeks.
Week 1 – 11th June
We start our exploration of Alsace with the lovely Muscat grape, with wonderful floral character its unique as the only variety that actually smells of grapes. Alsace is the only French region to vinify Muscat in a dry style.
We follow that up with a Pinot Gris, which if memory serves was the “star of the show” in our last Alsace visit. Nothing like Italian Pinot Grigio (actually the same grape), here Pinot Gris develops a characteristic roundness and opulence. Rich, full-bodied with a well-balanced acidity and a long finish, its complex aroma is reminiscent of woodland and is sometimes slightly smoky
- Léon Beyer 'Réserve Personnelle' Muscat 2017; Retail Price £16.95
- Léon Beyer 'Réserve Personnelle' Pinot Gris 2017; Retail Price £17.95
Week 2 – 25th June
The variety probably most associated with Alsace is Gewurztraminer, so much so that we have TWO very different examples for you to enjoy. The first one is in the classic style; full-bodied and well-structured. Its intense bouquet displays rich aromas of fruit, flowers and spices (gewurz = spicy).
Next up, we have a real treat, a “Vendange Tardive”, late harvest Gewurztraminer. Only produced in the best year where the grapes are affected by “Noble Rot”, this is full-bodied and lusciously sweet, with flavours of pineapple, honey and sweet brown spices (half bottle).
- Léon Beyer 'Réserve Personnelle' Gewürztraminer 2018; Retail Price £18.25
- Léon Beyer 'Vendange Tardive' Gewürztraminer 2017; Retail Price £25.00 (half)
Week 3 – 9th July
Alsace appellation system is remarkably simple, there are just two: Alsace and Alsace Grand Cru. The latter is reserved for the very best vineyard locations and on our final week we have two Grand Cru wines for you to sample.
Although Gewurztraminer is the variety most associated with Alsace, ask any winemaker which is the best variety and they will tell you; Riesling. Riesling ages superbly and have a 2011 example here. Intensely aromatic with minerality on the nose, high acidity and a long, ripe finish.
Finally, although the vast majority of Alsatian wines are white, they do grow Pinot Noir (and why not? the dry conditions are ideal). We have a Grand Cru Pinot Noir here, how does this compare with a top Burgundian Pinot? See for yourself. Flavours of raspberry, blackcurrant, currant, cherry, and a darker, meatier and “grippier” palate than you might expect.
- Léon Beyer 'Comtes d'Eguisheim' Riesling 2011; Retail Price £39.00
- Léon Beyer 'Comtes d'Eguisheim' Pinot Noir 2015; Retail Price £37.75
For this tasting, all the wines will be supplied by Yapp Brothers. At a discounted price, including delivery of £155.60
Once you book a place on this event, we will forward your contact details to Yapps who will take payment and arrange delivery direct to you.
Please allow a minimum of 7 days for delivery of the wine.
This event will stop taking orders on Friday 4th June.
Places remaining: 4
Course Date/Time: Fri 11th Jun 2021 at 7.30pm
Duration: 1 Hr
Venue: Online via Zoom (Link sent via email)