Alsace is not your typical French wine region. It’s the only region in the country that is allowed to grow Riesling and Gewürztraminer grapes.
You’ll also notice that the wine is named after name of the grape used. What a concept! Although we love it, many French wines require you to be an expert in the grapes and wine style used in scores of towns because the wines are named after their region.
Wines from Alsace also stand out because they are bottled in a long neck, fluted bottle.
Alsace is unique and wonderful, especially to lovers of crisp white wine, like me. It is one of the smallest French wine appellation and borders Germany and part of Switzerland. Over the centuries the land has switched back and forth between French and German sovereignty. That’s fine with me, because Germany is also known for its world class whites.
Alsace sets the world standard for Riesling. Many aspire to it, but most fall short. Germany produces legendary Riesling, but on the whole, much of it is too sweet. Alsace is austere, crisp and lyrically subtle.
We opened this Albrecht Reserve Riesling on a warm summer evening. In fact, we had just returned from dinner with our neighbors only to discover that our air conditioner had broken and our indoor temperature was 81 degrees!
Quickly we rerouted to our back patio and the Albrecht was fetched from our cooler downstairs. We were soon imagining diving into a cool clear lake as we were refreshed by the Riesling.
The bouquet is somewhat closed at first (perhaps because we had really chilled it) and then opens up with floral notes. There is distinct minerality and a lively mouthfeel due to the acidity. There is a nice mingling of mellow orange peel and citrus blossom flavors.
This is a nice Riesling at a nice price (about $19). It’s a good introduction to Alsatian Riesling. There is no better time to sample this grape than during the Summer of Riesling!
Full disclosure: We received this wine as a marketing sample.