A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 872: My Alsace Week

Monday, February 27th: In December I got to choose seven Alsace wineries whose wines I was interested in tasting. They arrived a week ago in boxes with miniature bottles that contained a 1 oz pour. Before I got to taste them, I registered for a seminar put on by Salon Millésimes Alsace – DigiTasting: a virtual masterclass, titled “So Trendy,” based around four themes: “So Fresh,” “So Terroir,” “So Sweet” and “So Red.”

Wine personnel from 41 countries participated in Alsace’s virtual wine fair, which featured 74 wineries. The Masterclass was led by Thierry Fritsch, the head oenologist and chief wine educator of the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins d’Alsace, accompanied by Jenni Wagoner, global head of wine for Zuma restaurants, based in London; Yves Beck, Swiss wine journalist; and Manuel Peyrondet, the Best Sommelier in France (2008).

These are the wines we tasted together:

Domaine Schoffit Riesling 2020
Light golden colour; honeyed grapefruit nose with a white blossom note; medium-bodied, dry, richly extracted, round on the palate, elegant, with a lovely mouth-feel. (91)

Domaines Schlumberger Kitterle Riesling 2017
Bright, straw colour; minerally bouquet of citrus fruits with a hint of petrol and a floral flourish; medium-bodied, dry, beautifully balanced, grapefruit flavour with a long finish of lime. (90)

Domaine Hurst Gewurztraminer Vieilles Vignes 2020
(Fifty-year-old vines) Old gold in colour; spicy, lychee, ginger and grapefruit nose; medium-bodied, just off-dry, unctuous on the palate with lychee and cardamom (Turkish delight) flavours. (90)

Ninety percent of Alsace wine is white; the only red grape grown in the appellation is Pinot Noir.

Cave de Ribeauville Pinot Noir 2019
Ruby colour; earthy, beetroot and raspberry nose; medium-bodied, dry; lean and sinewy, raspberry and cranberry flavours; firmly structure with evident tannins and lively acidity. (89)

Then I tasted, on my own, during the week, seven boxes of the following wines:

Domaine Fleith Riesling 2021
Golden straw colour; honeyed grapefruit nose with a mineral note; medium-bodied, dry, richly extracted, firmly structured and well-balanced. (89)

Domaine Fleith Riesling 2018
Old gold colour; minerally, toffee, grapefruit bouquet; medium-bodied, just off-dry, grapefruit and lime flavours with a honeyed note. (91)

Domaine Fleith Assemblage 2021
Amber colour; floral, rose petal, red apple nose; medium-bodied, dry, rose petal, pink grapefruit and lychee flavours; elegant and long in the mouth. (92)

Domaine Fleith Pinot Noir 2018
Deep ruby colour; high toned nose of cedar and strawberry with oak spice; medium-bodied, dry, earthy, raspberry flavour with evident tannin; firmly structured with balancing acidity. (89)

Domaine Céline Metz

Domaine Hubert Metz Riesling 2019
Light gold straw colour; oaky, spicy, peach nose; medium-bodied, dry, honeyed apple flavour; touch of bitterness on the finish. (88)

Domaine Hubert Metz Winzenberg Riesling 2019
Light golden straw colour; earthy, lightly floral, grapefruit nose; medium-bodied, dry, fresh, grapefruit and lime flavours; great length. (90)

Domaine Hubert Metz Pinot Gris 2021
Straw colour; minerally, lightly floral, peach bouquet; medium-bodied, dry, white peach flavour; beautifully balanced with racy acidity. (90)

Domaine Hubert Metz Pinot Noir 2020
Deep purple in colour; violets, cherry nose with oak spice; medium-bodied, dry, cherry and rose petal flavours; elegant, well-balanced with a firm tannic finish. (91–92)

Lucien Albrecht

Lucien Albrecht Riesling 2021
Pale straw in colour; minerally, grapefruit nose; medium-bodied, crisply dry, lime and grapefruit flavours, fresh acidic finish. (89)

Lucien Albrecht Riesling Grand Cru Spiegel 2020
Light straw colour; minerally, green apple bouquet; medium-bodied, dry, citrus and apple flavours, spicy, well-balanced. (90)

Lucien Albrecht Pinot Gris 2021
Old gold colour; peach pit nose; medium-bodied, dry, white peach flavour with lively acidity. Good mouth-feel. (90)

Lucien Albrecht Gewurztraminer 2017
Light golden straw; spicy, lychee, ginger and grapefruit bouquet; medium-bodied, off-dry, ripe lychee flavour; well-balanced with fresh acidity. (91)

Domaine Emile Beyer

Domaine Emile Beyer Grand Cru Pfersigberg Riesling 2020
Golden straw colour; minerally, citrus zest nose; medium-bodied, crisply dry, lime flavour. Good length. (89–90)

Domaine Emile Beyer Grand Cru Eichberg Riesling 2020
Golden straw colour; earthy, floral, apple nose; medium-bodied, dry, lemony, green apple flavours. Great length. (90)

Domaine Emile Beyer Pinot Gris 2020
Medium straw colour; minerally, peach nose; medium-bodied, dry, elegant, white peach flavour; beautifully balanced, lovely mouth-feel. (92)

Domaine Emile Beyer Pinot Noir 2020
Deep ruby-purple colour; high toned nose of raspberry and moist earth; medium-bodied, dry, elegant, savoury, sour cherry flavour. (90)


Allimant-Laugner Praelatenberg Riesling 2014
Golden straw colour; slightly reductive nose of apple and citrus fruits; medium-bodied, dry, lime and green peach flavours with a long fresh minerally, lime finish. (90)

Allimant-Laugner Praelatenberg Riesling 2019
Pale straw colour; minerally, green apple and citrus zest bouquet; medium-bodied, round and succulent on the palate with grapefruit and apple flavours. Lovely mouth-feel. (91)

Allimant-Laugner Gewurztraminer 2020
Bright, straw colour; spicy, lychee nose; medium-bodied, off-dry, rich honeyed lychee flavour; well-balanced and tongue-coating. (90)

Allimant-Laugner Pinot Noir 2020
Deep ruby in colour; oak spice, black cherry bouquet; medium-bodied, dry, savoury, earthy, cherry flavour carried on lively acidity; firmly structured with ripe tannins. (89–91)


Willm Kirchberg De Barr Riesling 2021
Pale straw colour; minerally, citrus nose; medium-bodied, crisply dry, grapefruit flavour, nicely balanced with fresh acidity. (91)

Willm Riesling 2021
Pale straw colour; minerally, green apple peel nose; medium-bodied, crisply dry, grapefruit and lime flavours; great length. (90)

Willm Gewurztraminer 2020
Bright, straw colour; spicy, lychee, rose petal nose; medium-bodied, off-dry, well extracted honeyed lychee and cardamom flavours; nicely balanced. (91)

Willm Pinot Noir 2020 Cuvée Lina
Deep ruby in colour; cedary, black cherry nose with oak spice; medium-bodied, dry, black cherry and blackcurrant flavours; well-balanced, firmly structured; lovely mouth-feel. (91)

Léon Beyer

Léon Beyer Eichberg Riesling 2017
Bright straw colour; minerally, apple peel and lemon zest nose; medium-bodied, dry, lemon and quince flavours. Lively acidity, long finish. (91)

Léon Beyer Pfersigberg Riesling 2017
Deep straw colour; minerally, crab apple nose; medium-bodied, dry, elderberry and grapefruit flavour with balancing acidity. Long finish (91)

Léon Beyer Pfersigberg Gewurztraminer 2015 Comtes d’Eguisheim
Old gold colour; spicy, lychee and rose petal nose; medium to full-bodied, dry, floral, grapefruit, lychee and cardamon flavours. Rich and unctuous on the palate. (90)

Léon Beyer Pinot Noir 2017 Comtes d’Eguisheim
Deep purple-ruby with a tawny rim; earthy, cherry and tea-leaf bouquet with oak spice; medium-bodied, dry, sour cherry flavour with drying tannins and a bitter chocolate finish. (88)

Saturday, February 25th: Winemaker Lydia Tomek invited us to a dinner at Ravine Vineyard, held in the winery’s barrel cellar.

Here’s the menu with wine matches prepared by Executive Chef John Vetere.

Ravine’s executive chef John Vetere

Winemaker Lydia Tomek

The food and wine pairings were exemplary and the tank sample of Ravine Gewurztraminer 2022 was the best Gewurz I have tasted in Ontario.

Other wines (and spirits) tasted: Moses Znaimer, the communications mogul, has just released his own Vodka. He calls it Moses Vodka and the bottle has a see-through hologram depicting the biblical Moses parting the Red Sea – apt, since the vodka is Kosher for Passover. The 40% alcohol was distilled in Finland from sugarcane and contains a dosage of sugar syrup, which gives the spirit just a touch of sweetness. It costs $50.95 and is available at the following LCBO outlets:

LCBO Store #360 675 Wilson Ave, North York ON, M3K 1E3

LCBO Store #523 180 Promenade Circle, Thornhill ON, L4J 0E4

LCBO Store #657 502 Lawrence Ave, North York ON, M6A 1A1

Moses Znaimer’s vodka

Nestor Avarinó 2021 (Peloponnese, Greece; LCBO $10.85)
Bright golden straw in colour; minerally, lightly reductive, floral nose of apple, citrus and white pepper; medium-bodied, dry, apple, citrus and green pear flavours with a saline note on the finish. Great value (89)

Nestor Avarinó

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1 Response to A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 872: My Alsace Week

  1. Moira Saganski says:

    You are a busy, busy guy!

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