(2019) With 25g/l of residual sugar, this 12-year-old wine from a warm vintage has around 25% Botrytis fruit in the blend. There is a lovely hint of barley sugar, golden Sharon fruit and yellow plum, beautifully balanced sweetness, a gorgeous weight and full texture, glittering acidity. Orange peel and clove hints and the first wine with the correct age to develop complexity says Sybille. Fabulous.
(2019) A unusual Pinot Gris from vineyards in the Muscadet area of the Loire, and therefore classified as an IGP Val de Loire rather than Muscadet. Its 'flute' bottle gives it a rather Alsace look, and indeed the stuff inside has something in common with Pinot Gris from Alsace, including some residual sugar. And like Alsace, there's no way to tell that from the label which is a source of potential confusion for a thoroughly nice wine. Some floral, candy and citrus notes on the nose are attractive, a little stone-fruit, peachy character too. In the mouth there is good intensity here, definite sweetness, but a big rushing core of acidity sweeps the wine along to a balanced finish. For me, a banker for Thai or spicier Chinese cuisine.
(2019) Good and expressive Gewürztraminer aromas, with some lychee, old roses and a touch of geranium and Turkish delight. 12.24g/l of residual sugar gives softness and only gentle sweetness, a fresh, ligh-bodied character and plenty of sour lemon kicking in to the finish, gives very nice length and balance.
(2019) From Elgin fruit on red slate soils, not disimilar to many of the Mosel's great vineyards according to Jessica. This is just - just - off-dry with its 7.5g/l of residual sugar. Lovely aromatics, perfumed and floral with lots of zippy lemon, the confit lemon and fresher zesty notes set against that almost imperceptible hint of sweetness.
(2019) A fascinating wine all-round, made from late-harvested, over-mature, Chardonnay grapes, made with just a short period in barrels to preserve its floral and tropical fruit notes. It pours a glowing golden yellow and opens with creamy, buttery, and like the dry white wine, slightly oxidative notes that only serve to add intrigue. It is undoubtedly sweet, but a tempered sweetness of 36g/l, but again caught up in the buttery and nutty, natural-feeling light oxidation. Mouth-filling and chewy, yet the sweetness is there, and a balancing, freshening acidity, in a wine that continues to intrigue until the last mouthful. Cascina Eugenia recommend decanting for 10 hours before serving. 623 bottles produced.
(2019) Having trained in Burgundy and worked in California, Michel Fonné took over his uncle René Barth’s estate in 1989. As is very common with Alsace Pinot Gris, there’s definitely some sweetness here, in a wine that is full-bodied and voluptuous, and the antitheses of more neutral Pinot Grigios. With a wisp of smoke and fat, beeswax and apricot fruit on the nose, the palate explodes with ripe stone fruit flavours, a limey acidity that is purposeful but not sharp, and the sweetness offsetting a touch of spice and plenty of powerful fruit intensity. A fine example of a style Alsace does so well. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2018) A de-alcoholised wine from Torres, made using technology to remove the alcohol from a 'normal' wine, this presses very nice Muscat buttons aromatically, light, floral and herbal, and fairly indistinguishable from a regular Muscat wine. The same can't be said for the palate however, but it's not an entirely negative picture: it feels lightly effervescent in the mouth, more fruit-juicy than winey, but it is off-dry, balanced and enjoyable in its way.
(2018) Twenty kilometres west of Strasbourg, the Grand Cru of Steinklotz is at the northern tip of the Alsace wine route, and Gewurztraminer is the main grape planted on its limestone soils. This light golden wine opens with a touch of typical Turkish delight and rose perfume, subtle over stone fruits. In the mouth it is medium-bodied and off-dry, the fruit and sweetness offset by a bitter orange, pithy grip so typical of this variety. It is a fairly straightforward rendition, but match it to some spicy Chinese or Thai food and the balance, sweetness and freshness will work well.
(2017) Very fine nose, fine Gewurztraminer character, spicy and smoky, lots of residual sugar to give a delicate but exotic fruitiness that has intensity and yet filigree lacy acid framework. 17g/l makes it off-dry and a great match for Thai food or very ripe tomatoes with good olive oil, or simple pizza.
(2017) Also late harvest, fermented in steel tanks then aged in old Oloroso American oak casks. Darker in colour, there's more toast and a hint of marmalade, real richness and a suggestion of more sweetness to come. Indeed the wine has just over 20g/l of residual sugar, the unfortified late harvest sweetness is there, in its way delicate and Kabinett style, but the darker notes, the palate weight, barrel and the higher alcohol add significant lusciousness and a touch of spice.