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Alsace

The wines of Alsace are a proud reflection of the uniqueness of the region.  It has, historically, changed hands between Germany and France on many occasions and its wines, owing something to both countries, have forged their own character. 

Alsace is primarily known for aromatic white wines - from Riesling and Gewürztraminer...

The wines of Alsace are a proud reflection of the uniqueness of the region.  It has, historically, changed hands between Germany and France on many occasions and its wines, owing something to both countries, have forged their own character. 

Alsace is primarily known for aromatic white wines - from Riesling and Gewürztraminer...

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- that come in tall, thin bottles called flûtes, but a fascinating range of styles and grapes are produced in the region.  It is the second most northerly winemaking region of France and, uniquely amongst AOC wines, it is permitted to label the variety of grape.

Styles of Wine

Dry, white and aromatic are the words that spring to mind at the mention of Alsace, and they certainly apply to much of the wine and most of the best.  Yet other styles exist: Cremant d'Alsace is a sparkling wine that is usually white but occasionally rosé, Edelzwicker refers to a blend, Vendange Tardive can be dry but tends to be sweet and Séléction de Grains Nobles is a sweet wine produced with the aid of noble rot.  Oak is rarely used as the emphasis is placed on capturing and preserving the essence of the grape and the ground where it was grown.

Key Vines

Riesling and Gewürztraminer are the two star grapes that continue to dazzle the world.  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

The vineyards of Alsace run from north to south in a ribbon that shelters behind the Vosges Mountains to the west.  About 70-miles long, never more than 10 in length and between 175 and 420 metres in height, this wine region is one of warm springs, sunny summers, mild autumns and low rainfall.  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 flavoursome than those farther south.

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  1. Dopff & Irion Cuvée René Dopff Gewurztraminer

    Dopff & Irion Cuvée René Dopff Gewurztraminer, Alsace, 2014 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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    £9.04
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  2. Dopff & Irion Cuvée René Dopff Riesling, Alsace

    Dopff & Irion Cuvée René Dopff Riesling, Alsace, 2015 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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    £9.36
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    £7.80
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  3. 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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    £11.04
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    £12.70
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    £9.20
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  4. 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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    £6.28
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    £5.23
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