Alsace Riesling

Not all riesling is created equally. Some are ready for prime time today.

 


Every year around this time we all begin to trot out our picks for the holidays, beginning of course with Thanksgiving. Riesling is a perennial favorite of wine recommenders everywhere, thinking that A) all Riesling is sweet and B) all thanksgivings meals are leaden and dull and topped with flaming marshmallows and burnt candy.

Now, before you get your panties all in a bunch, I will recognize that Thanksgiving dinners are inherently sweet. Sweet with natural sweetness brought to the table in the form of roasted squash and pumpkin with hints of sweetness from cranberries and apples tucked delicately into stuffings. The days of sugary sweet Thanksgiving repasts are fading quickly into the rearview, replaced with heirloom turkeys and farm to table cuisine.


I of course digress, my point being that today’s Thanksgivings, while retaining their sweet accents are more and more about the savory elements of the meal. Rich turkey flavors from delicious heirloom breeds. Yes I succumb as well. Roasted brussel sprouts flecked with bacon. sausage stuffing with sage and tart apples. It is a spectacular meal and one well suited to Riesling, but offering a general and vague recommendation of Riesling is not a solution here. Riesling is not a one size fits all wine and the differences between dinner with a bone dry option from Australia or a saccharin sweet Auslese could be the difference between having friends the day following the holiday and not, 
 
So here’s a tip for you. Try Alsatian Riesling for the holidays. often knocked for the stand apart style, Alsatian rieslings like most Alsacien wines, are a bit big for the breed. they are sweet, but not aggressively so and favor the savory elements inherent in their terroir as much as the fruit. There is a spiciness that runs through many of these wines that along with the hint of sweetness and overall size and impressive intensity of the wines makes them ideally suited for the modern thanksgiving day feast!
 

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Top Alsace Riesling tasted 10/13

1.
Domaine Weinbach Riesling Reserve Personelle (2011)
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2.
Alsace Willm Riesling (2011)
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3.
Trimbach Riesling Alsace (2009)
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4.
Eugene Klipfel Wine Riesling Cuvee Pariculiere (2011)
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5.
Pierre Sparr Riesling (2009)
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Comments

  • I swore never to buy anything from Trimbach because the sign in front of
    their winery in Switzerland tells drivers that they are only interested in
    visits from the trade, but tasters are unwelcome!

    Nov 27, 2013 at 2:46 PM


  • Snooth User: dryhopped2
    544495 25

    Trimbach has a winery in Switzerland? Interesting. I went to their property in Ribeauvillé, tasting, no problem!

    Nov 27, 2013 at 2:59 PM


  • Trimbach in the Alsace is going to be in France, not Switzerland. Across from Rastatt, Germany, and north of Strasbourg.

    Nov 27, 2013 at 3:07 PM


  • Fieldstreet - You must be confused!

    Nov 27, 2013 at 3:22 PM


  • Trimbach is my favorite especially for Asian food.

    Nov 27, 2013 at 3:23 PM


  • I do see Ribeauville on the label now, but again it's a village in the Alsace region of France. Pick it, Alsace or Alsass, but not Switzerland. ;-)

    Nov 27, 2013 at 3:26 PM


  • Snooth User: dryhopped2
    544495 25

    Not to be a stickler, but Ribeauvillé, and the rest of the Alsatian wine country is SW of Strasbourg. I miss the tarte flambe and have not been able to reproduce it.
    .

    Nov 27, 2013 at 3:44 PM


  • Snooth User: dryhopped2
    544495 25

    Nothing from Schlumberger or Hugel & Fils? hmmm.

    Nov 27, 2013 at 4:20 PM


  • Well it was more than 20 years ago, but when I drove past the Trimbach facility it was strictly for the trade. Of course I was in Alsace, (I was staying in Kientzheim) so my geography is off but not my memory of the sign.

    Nov 27, 2013 at 5:02 PM


  • trimbach is great -

    Nov 28, 2013 at 4:49 PM


  • Nov 30, 2013 at 12:43 PM


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  • Snooth User: LenkaK
    930415 27

    I miss the Léon Baur winery from Eguisheim here... Their Riesling Cuvée Elisabeth Stumpf is fab, not to mention the prizes it has won...

    Dec 03, 2013 at 3:37 PM


  • Snooth User: Kapriole
    1375267 21

    Another wonderful Alsace Riesling is 2010 Kuentz-Bas. Sweetness at a minimum.

    Dec 04, 2013 at 1:46 PM


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