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A Wine Merchant's Wine?

I do think that Alsace is one of those regions that falls into the category of a 'Wine Merchant's Wine', those of you that have attended one of my tastings at number 17 will know what I mean by this. Simply put, it's a wine that we in the trade drink ourselves because - despite being tremendously complex, interesting and unique - we can't sell it!

I do think that Alsace is one of those regions that falls into the category of a 'Wine Merchant's Wine', those of you that have attended one of my tastings at number 17 will know what I mean by this. Simply put, it's a wine that we in the trade drink ourselves because - despite being tremendously complex, interesting and unique - we can't sell it!

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I'm being a bit churlish here, Alsace does have a cult following and once introduced to these wines many people seek them out, it just doesn't fall into the same category commercially as a Marlborough Sauvignon or a Chilean Merlot!

The Terroir

Although it's important in any wine producing the region, the terroir in Alsace is critical to the wines produced here. This region in the East of France has incredible variation in soil and climate in spite of its size. This is one of reasons that the Pfaffenheim cooperative, where this month's Pinot Blanc is produced, scour the region securing parcels of wine that best display the variation in style available here.

The Grape

Don't get this confused with Pinot Grigio! It's actually a mutation of the connoisseur's grape - Pinot Noir. Sometimes a Pinot Noir vine will produce all black fruit bar one cane, which produces white grapes, a bi-product of this fussy grape's instability.  

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