Grapes from Alsace Wine Region
Gewürztraminer – rich, spicy, aromatic, mouth-filling exotic fruitiness often camouflages its underlying dryness. Mellows beautifully with age.
Muscat – Dry, very light and full of fresh grapey flavour. Best drunk young, and a great aperitif.
Pinot Blanc – Light, fruity and crisp whit hint of apple. Has good acidity so keeps well for a few years, especially when wood-aged.
Pinot Gris (Tokay d’Alsace) – A great big, rich wine, sumptuous and honeyed from fruit which masks the underlying dryness. Good vintages will keep for years.
Riesling: Dry, steely and crisp when young; developing into a luscious, oily wine of great complexity with ageing.
Sylvaner – Fresh, fruity and crisp, with high acidity, giving a refreshing quality. It can often have a slight fizz. It doesn’t age well, although time in oak gives it more body and depth.
Some special Alsace classifications
Crémand d’Alsace – A dry, sparkling wine made from Pinot Blanc, sometimes with a little Riesling. Flowery, fruity and refreshing.
Grand Cru - A title conferred on the best growers.
Réserve - A term used by growers to denote their best wines.
Sélection de Grains Nobles – Only used in exceptional vintages to denote grapes with very high sugar content which produce luscious, sweet wines.
Spécial – Another term used by growers to distinguish their best wines.
Vendange Tardinve – Late-picked grapes with high sugar quality, which produce either dry, alcohol-high wines, or rich, sweet wines, though nor quite so luscious as Sélection de Grains Nobles.
Best vintages: 1992, 1990, 1989, 1988, 1985, 1983, 1981.