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Alsace

The wines of Alsace are a blend of cultures between France and Germany, whether the spelling of grape varieties or village names. Renowned for their balance of fruit and crispness, white grape varieties are the real claim to fame here. Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris are among the most planted. Pinot Noir is the sole red variety cultivated in any quantity. Much of the success to be attributed to these fruit forward wines is the very rare use of aging in barrel. 

The wines of Alsace are a blend of cultures between France and Germany, whether the spelling of grape varieties or village names. Renowned for their balance of fruit and crispness, white grape varieties are the real claim to fame here. Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris are among the most planted. Pinot Noir is the sole red variety cultivated in any quantity. Much of the success to be attributed to these... read more.

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Styles of Wine

Dry, white and aromatic applies to much of the wine and most of the best. Styles include: Cremant d'Alsace, a sparkling wine usually white but occasionally rosé. Made in a similar method to Champagne, the main grape is Pinot Blanc. Alsace or Vin du Alsace AOC was formed in 1962 and stipulates a single varietal wine from the whole AOC of Alsace. If it contains more than one varietal, it must be labelled as either Edelzwicker or Gentil or be branded. Edelzwicker/Gentil allows producers to combine two or more varietals. Alsace Grand Cru can only be made from one variety and must originate from the 51 designanted vineyards. Conforming to taste and style criteria is a must. Vendange Tardive translates to late harvest and refers to concentration of sugar in the grapes. The style can vary from dry to sweet. Séléction de Grains Nobles is a sweet wine only produced with the assistance of noble rot. Both Vendange Tardive and Séléction de Grains Nobles can labelled Alsace or Alsace Grand Cru. 

Key Vines

Riesling and Gewürztraminer are the two star grapes. Muscat, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris (also known as Tokay Pinot Gris) and Sylvaner are other white varieties capable of excellence whilst Chasselas and Auxerrois are usually blended.  Some Chardonnay is grown, mainly for Cremant 'Alsace, whilst Pinot Noir is the only red to appear.

Climate and Terroir

Bordered by the Rhin (Rhine) to the east,  Vosges Mountains from the west and Jura ranges in south, Alsace is about 70-miles long, 10 wide and between 180 and 420 metres in height. The climate is mild and sunny with long, cool growing seasons. South facing slopes can be relied upon for the ripening of grapes and unusually warm years allow for the production of sweet wines. Soil alters greatly along the ribbon's length and influences the wine in a way that most producers are keen to convey.  As a general rule, the wines of the north are lighter and less flavour forward than those farther south.

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  1. Cremant d'Alsace Blanc de Blancs Brut, Dopff & Irion, Alsace

    Cremant d'Alsace Blanc de Blancs Brut, Dopff & Irion, Alsace 75cl

    Made in the traditional method using Auxerrois and Pinot Blanc grapes. Aromas of fresh apple develop to a well balanced, fruity palate. 

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  2. Dopff & Irion Cuvée René Dopff Gewurztraminer

    Dopff & Irion Cuvée René Dopff Gewurztraminer, Alsace, 2015 75cl

    Highly aromatic and floral on the nose. Citrus fruit and a slightly honeyed character are evident on the palate and the finish is persistent and satisfying. Superb with lightly spiced Asian cuisine.

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  3. Dopff & Irion Cuvée René Dopff Riesling, Alsace

    Dopff & Irion Cuvée René Dopff Riesling, Alsace, 2016 75cl

    Aromas of green apple fill the nose, with just a hint of honeyed sweetness. The palate is dry with vibrant citrus flavour followed by some tropical notes, the finish is fresh.

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  4. Dopff & Irion Cuvée René Dopff Gewurztraminer

    Dopff & Irion Cuvée René Dopff Pinot Gris, Alsace, 2014 75cl

    Buttercup yellow, with a nose which combines smoky notes with dried fruit. On the palate, aromas of quince lead to a fresh finish. A complete and seductive wine. 

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  5. Dopff & Irion Grand Cru Vorbourg Pinot Gris, Alsace

    Dopff & Irion Grand Cru Vorbourg Pinot Gris, Alsace, 2010 75cl

    Apricot and peach on the nose, moving to smokey spice in the mouth. Full bodied yet well balanced, this is a brilliant food wine. 

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  6. Dopff & Irion Grand Cru Sporen Gewurtztraminer, Alsace

    Chateau de Riquewihr Grand Cru Sporen Gewurtztraminer, Alsace, 2014 75cl

    Floral aromas are joined by tropical flavours of lychee. The fruit is well balanced and gives a rich, complex finish. 

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  7. Dopff & Irion Grand Cru Schoenenbourg Riesling, Alsace

    Chateau de Riquewihr Grand Cru Schoenenbourg Riesling, Alsace, 2011 75cl

    Citrus blossom aromas evolve into spice and apricot in the mouth with a subtle steely finish. 

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  8. Dopff & Irion Cuvée René Dopff Gewurztraminer

    Dopff & Irion Cuvée René Dopff Gewurztraminer, Alsace (Half Bottle), 2014 37.5cl

    Fresh and floral on the nose with just a hint of spice on the palate. The aromatic nature of this wine makes it a perfect partener to lightly spiced dishes.

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