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Hey, Fionn coming to you this Thursday.
Arrived back from freezing cold Alsace to what feels like an even colder London. Pretty great trip though. Lots of good wine, plenty of pork, and it's always nice to escape the big smoke for a few days. I'm sure a deeper dive on the whole trip will be coming to you soon from the talented wordsmith Megan but for now, you’re stuck with me. The rest of the team are still doing what they do best, doing the god's work by rummaging around France for rare, unicorn bottles. Can’t wait to see what they bring back. Fingers crossed EasyJet handle that luggage with great care.
Some of the standouts from the trip came from the lovely Beck-Hartweg. We’ve sold these for some time now and they get nothing but love when we pour them BTG. I’ve always been a fan of them but when tasting with the winemaker in their cellar you gain a whole new appreciation. They bottle wines according to the site, often opting for blends to show off their unique different plots. Florian kindly let us know that Alsace is home to pretty much all the different soil types you can find here on planet Earth. Granite, volcanic, schist. You name the soil, Alsace has got it. The Rittersberg 2019 is a blend of all things Alsatian, picked together from a little south-east facing site just down the road from the village they call home. The soil at this site is granitic but it rests upon layers of silt and sand. This brings density, and what some people like to call ‘mouthfeel’. That’s my least favourite wine word, but I get it. This is powerful. It’s bright tangerine in color and tastes like peaches and cream. If you give it a little time you can coax out a whole heap of other things too roses, tarragon, and spices. This is such a unique skinsy, blendy thing that to me is a perfect snapshot of the modern Alsatian wine scene.
Frankenstein is another Grand Cru site they really seem to love. Here things are purely on poor, dry granite and this helps to keep these wines nervy and bright. Their old vine Riesling is slowly pressed before being aged in foudres that are centuries old. A bone-dry, dynamic expression with some serious lingering salinity. Their Pinot Gris from the same site is just as moreish. Again, bone-dry and with a real Chartreuse herbal vibe to it. Open this up and marvel at how it develops over the course of an evening.
From their slightly more traditional line comes their 'Dambach-la-Ville' which is a textbook example of what good rizza should taste like from these parts. More depth than you’d find in neighbouring Germany but still with all the fragrance and acid. High-octane drinking and it works perfectly with the decadent pork they like to eat around here. They also make a rather fun, somewhat lively Pet-Nat. Straight-up juice. Muscat brings a little aromatic lift, whilst the two Pinots bring crunchy fruit and just the right amount of funk. It’s pretty keen to jump out of the bottle and straight into your glass so be warned you gotta chill this one down and open with care.
Enough chit-chat for today, gotta unbox wine and then put said wine back in other boxes, fun!
Take it easy,