Benjamin Lewin Alsace Book: Any Good?

Having bemoaned a lack of a book on Alsace I notice Benjamin Lewin wrote one (2018) which I hadn’t come across.

Now I’m betting it hasn’t been much read here, because the Alsace fans have so much knowledge and expertise themselves, but if anyone has, I would love to know what they think?

I seem to enjoy wine books, and I have three unread on my pile, including Wink Lorch’s Wines of the French Alps, which arrived last weekend. So whilst I love Alsace, I will only buy the Lewin if it is good.

I’m keen to know whether he covers the new producers. All very well focusing on the old school, but few French regions have as many exciting new projects right now.
 
I wasn’t aware of this book. His Wines of France is sound but his recommendations are mainstream & he tends to pick low hanging fruit.
I could do with a more contemporary book on the region & will take a gander when in Atheneaum.

Tom, as a MW I’d like to think he’d take a leaf out of Len Shackleton’s autobiography, when writing the chapter on Alsatian PN.
 
Glancing at the Amazon preview, it seems to have the same format as his Barolo book, which is not very good. (Cheaply produced; intro section containing standard stuff you can find anywhere; opinions on a selection of producers). He's done about 15 of these books so it seems unlikely they'll have much real expertise and insight.
 
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That’s what I wondered, Paul. It’s less than eight quid but the investment of time and the disappointment if it does lack insight would make even that little money seem too much.

I want a writer who covers the gods but equally knows what excitement is being generated. Someone who knows the north as well. Probably too much to ask.

I’m not sure I’ve seen a book on Alsace since Tom Stevenson’s, which I devoured like a set text. But that was published about five years after my first visit, and a lot has changed in 25/26 years. Mostly for the better in terms of wine quality, he says...
 
I was disspointed with his book on Bordeaux, which contained a number of factual errors. Still, he is passionate about what he writes and, even if you don't agree with him, it makes for good reading.

Alex R.
 

Tom Cannavan

Administrator
I don't know the chap and do not know the books at all, but it is thin at 112 pages, and from what I could see on the Amazon 'look inside' preview, has a fairly amateurish layout. Also the number of different regions he is covering in the series of books just makes me think the content may be insubstantial. No offence to him if he reads this as, as I say, I don't know the books, but I wouldn't order based on what I can see.
 
I don't know the chap and do not know the books at all, but it is thin at 112 pages, and from what I could see on the Amazon 'look inside' preview, has a fairly amateurish layout. Also the number of different regions he is covering in the series of books just makes me think the content may be insubstantial. No offence to him if he reads this as, as I say, I don't know the books, but I wouldn't order based on what I can see.
I think my enthusiasm for the region, and a desire to learn more, momentarily outweighed my own feelings that this would not be a detailed enough work for me. I thought I'd throw it out on the Forum, but I've read nothing here to make me push the "buy" button.

It may well be that my 24-year-old self, heading on a first trip to Alsace (or Chablis, Barolo, Bordeaux even) might have found such a guide useful.

I do own his book on Pinot Noir. I generally agree with Thom that for any lover of Burgundy, at least, it would not really appeal (Jasper's book is still the one I turn to for information, and Bill's as well to a degree). However, it was useful in drawing to my attention wines from other regions. One example is Friedrich (Fritz) Becker at Schweigen in the very south of the Pfalz. I subsequently visited him and have become a firm fan of his wines, especially the beautiful Pinot he grows over the border in France, on the steep slopes above the abbey at Wissembourg.
 
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