The wines of Alsace

galestro soil

Mineral muddle

Alex Maltman, Vineyards, Rocks, and Soils. the wine lover’s guide to geology, Oxford, 2018 In John Szabo MS’ otherwise excellent book, Volcanic Wines (2016), there is a particularly alarming example of poor logic. It comes when talking about the derivation of wine flavour and texture from the geology and soils of the vineyard. He cites

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Josmeyer – star of Alsace

The Josmeyer name is well-loved and enjoys huge respect among wine lovers – for good reasons.  Founded in 1854 by Aloyse Meyer  as an extension of the family restaurant business, the company became a very important négociant. It was renamed Josemeyer to honour the second generation, Joseph Meyer, in 1963, by which time the name

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Blind tasting – a laugh a minute?

Our regular blind tasting group teetered between concentrated attention on some fine, puzzling wines and outright hilarity.  Prizes for the best sayings of the evening must go to Rob who described typical north European Rieslings as having ‘psychopathic flintiness’ and to Stafford who, among the reportable bot mots, claimed that a pint of real ale

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2003 ten years on

The summer of 2003 in the UK has gone down in the British collective memory as famously hot – to be compared to 1976.  While Mediterranean Europe has had other hot summers recently, we have not and so the memory of 2003 has grown rather than receded.  Janet and I remember house sitting in that

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Riesling review

The noble Riesling grape variety is probably German in origin. According to Wine grapes, the name has many German synonyms and may be mentioned as far back as 1435. Certainly the variety is suited to Germany’s cold winters, hot summers and long dry early autumns. With its hard wood and late budding, it is equipped

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it's white and from Alsace

Taste, suffer, triumph

The blind tasting Bring a Bottle Club has had one successful evening of Alsatian wines this year already and many us had also been to a Josmeyer tasting of great quality. So it was perhaps tempting fate to have a third go at this subject – and so it proved.  While it was, as usual,

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Blind tasting improbability index

As stated many times on this blog, exposing yourself to trial by blind tasting is a mug’s game.  My worst moment was failing to identify the grape variety of an Alsace Grand Cru Gewurztraminer. After I knew what it was its typical rose water and lychees aromas were as obvious as it gets.  And yes

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Success in Alsace

Outside of the New World with its focus on the characteristic qualities of single grape varieties, Alsace has got to be the easiest wine to taste blind.  Aromatic Gewurz, steely Riesling, more neutral but classy Pinot Gris and the odd glass of Pinot Noir (which has the decency to be red), this is going to

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Table 1

Art of fine living at the Harrow

February’s meeting of Andover Wine Friends was a spectacular lunch at The Harrow Inn, Little Bedwyn.  They put on a great show for 17 of us, while running the front half of the restaurant as usual.  I was seriously off duty – too much good food, company and excellent wines – so there are no

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Pinot Gris in the limelight

January’s Fine Wine Supper featured the wines of top Alsace producer, Josmeyer.  It is always worthwhile to taste the wines of the most well-known domaines, to see if they continue to live up to their reputations.  Here they emphatically did.  All six wines were very good, some – in fact, the cheapest as well as

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