2014 was an exceptional year for Alsace – perhaps the greatest some of us have ever seen for Riesling. The 2014 wines are in the classic mould with glorious fresh acidity that will ensure they have a long life ahead of them. It may be difficult to resist them now, though!
Harrogate Medical Wine Society held a tasting of a selection of Alsace wines of the 2014 vintage from notable producers at the Pannal Golf Club in Harrogate, North Yorkshire on Thursday 30 March 2017. Wines were presented by Ian Botwright of the Harrogate Medical Wine Society. 31 members of the Society and a guest attended the event.
The following wines were tasted:
- Sylvaner 2014, Léon Beyer: Lovely, crisp, refreshing and full-flavoured dry white with a twist of apple.
- Cuvée Trimbach 2014: A 50:50 blend of Muscat and Sylvaner. Fresh, fruity and bone dry with a lovely grapey aroma.
- Pinot Blanc 2014, Trimbach: The blend contains 70% Auxerroise. Impeccable, crisp and elegant with perfect balance.
- Pinot Blanc 2014, Domaine Weinbach: Gently rounded, finely balanced, full flavoured and creamy textured wine from a great Domaine.
- Muscat Réserve 2014, Trimbach: Delicate bone-dry Muscat from the family owned firm in Ribeauvillé. Makes a lovely, fragrant aperitif.
- Muscat Collection 2014, Kuentz-Bas: This is a meadow-fresh Alsace Muscat with pure floral aroma and a fresh appetising palate from the small family house situated south of Colmar.
- Pinot Gris Léon Beyer: Fully dry Pinot Gris is not common in Alsace and Beyers have made it a speciality. Still young but well structured, it makes a great food wine.
- Exhibition Riesling 2014, The Wine Society: Comes from Josmeyer’s biodynamically farmed vines between the villages of Wintzenheim and Turckheim. Made in the traditionally dry style to go with food.
- Riesling Gran Cru Pfersigberg Lieu dit Hertracker 2014, Domain Ginglinger: The Ginglingers have been making wine in Eguisheim since 1610. This is an exquisite Riesling with racy acidity and great length.
- Riesling Le Dragon 2014, Josmeyer: This is one of the ‘Terroir” wines of Josmeyer. The lieu-dit Le Dragon is in the commune of Turckheim. Unfortunately, the wine was oxidised. (Both the supplier and the producer were informed.)
- Alsace Haguenau 2014, Domaine Louis Sipp: This comes from four parcels of vines of four different grape varieties within the Hagenau vineyard: approximately 50% Riesling and Sylvaner, with Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer also in the blend. Made in a dry style, with Riesling-led aroma and fresh, linear palate and a wonderful seam of supporting acidity.
- Gewurztraminer 2014, Trimbach: This is lovely textbook style of Gewürztraminer, precise, fruity, fine, long and almost fully dry.
Members of the Harrogate Medical Wine Society visit Alsace regularly to taste and buy. Of the producers listed above, they have visited Léon Beyer, Trimbach, Domaine Weinbach, Kuentz-Bas and Josmeyer. The images below show tastings at Trimbach and Josmeyer.
- “Just like to say how much I enjoyed the tasting by Ian on Thursday night. A really interestingly conceived tasting which certainly demonstrated the 2014 vintage to be one of great quality and potential. I thought that the Sylvaner and the Kuentz-Bas muscat were probably the best examples of those two grapes that I have ever tasted. like Ian, I am not normally a fan of dry muscat, but the Kuentz-Bas was so intense and relatively complex that I really enjoyed it. I also felt that the Pinot Gris was certainly among the best that I have encountered and for me was among the best 3 wines at the tasting, along with the Gewürztraminer. The wine I found the most impressive was however the Ginglinger Riesling. Must go back after about 30 years – he also makes great Gewürztraminer.
Finally I would like to thank Ian for his clear and informative talk. I was particularly impressed by his calm forbearance as the acoustics were not ideal and perhaps it would have been kinder had some of us been better able to control our excitement to pass comment on the wines to our neighbours rather than listening to what Ian had to say. A very enjoyable evening capped with a good meal. Thanks again.” – Robert Buckley, Leeds
- “Thanks very much for the Alsace tasting last Thursday.
Sue and I both enjoyed the tasting, the new venue and the Company. It is not often that we experience a tasting where the wines are all white!” – Simon Pratt, Leeds
“An excellent wine tasting and thanks, to you and Ian for an excellent and informative tasting exploring Alsace Wines 2014 . I have to admit to getting slightly bemused by 12 wines and some substitutions but thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I really enjoyed Pannal Golf Club for a change, the food was excellent and my concerns about hearing the presentation were quickly dispelled. My only slight reservation was the sitting in rows which makes me feel a little like I was back at school and true to form I was sat on the back row. An excellent evening.” – Pat Shore, Harrogate
“Congratulations and thanks, to you and Ian for an excellent and interesting tasting followed by a very nice meal last night.” – Prof. Charles Joslin
- “Thank you very much to you and to Ian for a super tasting. What a good year 2014 was. Neil was delighted to join us last night, and hopes to do so again. He really enjoyed it.” – Jane Trewhella, Otley
- “Thanks to you and Ian for a great tasting tonight.” – Ian Bexon, Harrogate