A great couple of nights at Richmond Wine Society at the beginning of the month and last night at Teddington.
If anyone had any doubts about whether they liked Alsace wines at the start of the evening, nobody left with any. We kicked off each evening with some Crémant, Any stray bottles of the fresh, creamy Cave de Turckheim non vintage were likely to be swept off the shelves of Waitrose the the morning after the Monday Richmond tasting – at £10.50 temporary price reduction it was phenomenal value ! The Biodynamic, unsulphured crémant we tasted on the Sunday was definitely interesting, but not such a crowd pleaser.
Because all of our white wines (90% of Alsace wine being white) had some residual sugar, we covered off red wine first, with an organic Pinot Noir from the Cave de Turckheim co-op. Its juicy fruity nose was not quite replicated on the palate which has some tannic grip, but it was a good example of a lighter Pinot Noir with some decent complexity. At Teddington we had a sligthly pricier Pinot Noir from Bruno Sorg in Eguisheim, and this offered more structure and richer flavours.
Our Riesling was from another co-op, the Cave Vinicole de Hunawihr, from the Rosacker Grand Cru vineyard. This was a big hit, beautiful tropical flavours, some minerality, with a lovely combination of acidity and a touch of residual sugar. At £26 a bottle, this was probably the most popular wine on each night.
The Sylvaner 2020 from Rolly Gassman, one of the top family producers in Alsace was really interesting – the typical earthy aromas and flavours of the grape variety lent it some gastronomic appeal, and it had great balance
The 2016 Pinot Gris, also by Rolly Gassman, from their Brandhurst de Bergheim lieu-dit vineyard delivered a proper Pinot Gris experience – lovely texture, notes of honey, spice and nuts, and another gastronomic wine.
We finished with two Gewurtztraminers, that could not have been more different. The 2020 Reserve from the Hunawihr co-op was subtle, with nice freshness that balanced a small amount of residual sugar. It was really versatile – a great wine to go with Alsatian or Asian food. However, the Rolly Gassman 2008 Vendages Tardives, from the Oberer Weingarten de Rorschwihr lieu-dit, knocked it, and pretty much everything else we had drunk out of the water. Rolly Gassman make around 300,000 bottles a year, but have 2 million in their cellars and only release wines when they consider them to be at the best of their evolution – so this wine had to wait for nearly 15 years fort hat moment. It was gorgeous – the complex flavours of lychee and rosewater, ginger and marmalade were powerful bu not overblown, there was a lovely acidity to balance out the residual sugar – a beautiful pudding wine, or for those so inclined, the perfect match for a really stinky Munster cheese, which we enjoyed at Teddington.
A great evening, made nicer by the lovely weather (at all the events) and some great food – the Britannia pub at Richmond put on a heritage tomato and mozarella salad for first course and an unctious beef ragout for main, while at Teddington fish pie was followed by cheese.
Details and pricing are on the Wines we have tasted page.