Alsace has an important diversity of grapes. There are 7 noble grapes such as: Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Muscat, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir and Sylvaner. But this region also produces Chasselas, Chardonnay and Savagnin. The latter is in the same family as the Gewürztraminer and is exclusively harvested in Heiligenstein under the appellation Klevner of Heiligenstein.
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Le pinot noir
This wine, already cultivated in the Middle Ages, hides behind its light red appearance and showing off a noticeable aromatic identity which pleases by its fragrances of red berries ( such as blackberry, raspberry, and black cherry) from which adds a beautiful structure and a long lasting taste in your mouth. Its silky tannins voluntarily last from 4 to 6 years. Its delicacy will arouse the palate with grilled food, smoked pork shoulder, Baeckeoffe or cheese.
Pinot Noir found its soil in Saint Hippolyte, which got it the appellation of Saint Hippolyte Red. We work the land using low yields, harvested exclusively on the hills of the Haut Koenigsbourg Castle. The red will be more well-bodied and well-structured than a traditional Pinot. It is a wine to be kept because it matures well with time.
The Riesling is principally a dry wine. Cultivated in a place called the Silberberg ( a silver mountain in German), the clay and limestone soil at the piedmont slope of the Vosges which gives it structure, elegance, and a delicate sourness. Its clear and brilliancy appearance, without an excess of smoothness, gives out a pale yellow or green tints in the first years before maturing towards more golden tints over time, and these translate into fresh and purity on the palate.
Two varieties of Muscat are harvested in Alsace. Muscat, also known as « Muscat à Petits Grains », Alsatian Muscat or Muscat Ottonel, is historically a hybrid of the Chasselas and another Muscat.
The wine has a clear yellow color with some touches of light silver as well.
It is the best example of wine with primary aromas. The powerful scent leads you to think of the grape. This intensity of the fruit is rounded off by subtle hints of floral scents.
Vinified dry, it really gives the impression of eating a grape. The freshness and the delicate bitterness contribute to the spontaneity and harmony to the wine.
It is a wine that is to be appreciated when it’s young. Thanks to its dry character, the Alsatian Muscat opens the appetite. It is served as a cocktail at the best tables in the region. The Muscat is also appreciated with asparagus. It heightens light dishes made up of raw or cooked vegetables (steamed, vegetarian, or Asian dishes).
Le pinot gris
The Pinot Gris gave birth to dry, mellow (late harvest) or syrupy (selection of noble seeds) wine. These opulent wines can be kept between three to ten years. Its yellow-green appearance, in the first years, become more golden even amber hue over time. The delicateness of the aromas leave room to a higher quality in aging. The fruity nuances of its youth, transform subtly in a perfume found in the woods. Persistent and well structured, in spite of their low level of sourness, these wines reveal their exceptional quality by their power on the palate. Noble, they deliver to the whole palate their complexity, decanted a few minutes before being served with a dish of fresh river fish, a Choucroute, some chicken or some cheese.
Le Pinot Blanc
Known for being the most lively of the Alsatian wines, its range of rich and delicate aromas ( such as peach, apricot, citrus, and white blossoms) and its pale yellow clear appearance let the palate discover a fresh and supple wine with hints of spice. This balanced wine will accompany numerous dishes. It is recommended to taste it yellow (one to two years of age).
More and more, we find it in the form of a sparkling wine because its freshness and fruitiness allow a production of fresh and light sparkling wines.
Appeared at the end of the 19th century in Alsace, the Gewurztraminer, made from an older grape-the red Traminer- became the undisputable emblem of the Alsatian winery. The Gewurztraminer differentiates itself from other grapes by its rosy color of its berries to maturity which gives it in the bottle a subtle yellow-golden appearance. Creamy on the palate, it sends off exotic aromas characterized by exotic fruit, of roses, and of ginger bread (Gewürz means spices in German). The Alsatian soil, conducive to this meaning, gives it hints of elegant floral scents that make a warm wine that can be classified into dry wines ( not too sweet), mellow ( last harvest) or syrupy ( selection of noble seeds). The one of a kind bouquet with an enormous intensity of these well-bodied and well-structured wines, is enjoyed as a cocktail or to accompany Foie Gras, dishes with some heat, sharp cheeses such as Munster or fruit pies. Wine lovers who appreciate good wines will keep them in a cellar for two to ten years.
The Syvaner is one of the oldest grapes of Alsace. For a long time, it was harvested in mass for very high yields bringing little fruitiness. During the 60s-70s, it had been pulled out in numbers in order to give room to the Pinot Gris which was the fashionable grape at the time. Today, almost completely erased from the Alsatian vineyards, the Sylvaner rediscovers its former glory because worked on the poorest soils in order to bring out its dry and classy traits, it offers an intense aromatic taste. It is a dry wine with character that will quench your thirst as a cocktail but will especially be a very good companion to a Choucroute, fish or a Alsatian stew called the “Baeckeoffe “.