Alsace wines are becoming drier and drier. At least that was the impression we had on our recent Alsace tour. And that is very positive. In addition, it is easier to know if the wines are dry or not because producers are now more and more putting “vin sec” on the label if the wine is dry. Or they use a dry-to-sweet scale to indicate the sweetness of the wine. This is useful to know when you are planning your dinner.
Perhaps the most interesting “discovery” during the tour was the dry Pinot Gris wines. Only a few years ago, Pinot Gris from Alsace was almost always a sweet wine, often with as much as 20-30 grams of residual sugar. Now, many growers ferment out all the sugar and show us that the grape is amazingly good as totally dry. The wines are rich with a lovely mouthfeel. “These are texture wines”, says Melanie Pfister at Domaine Pfister in Dahlenheim. The nose is not as aromatic as a Riesling. It is a little restrained, but in the mouth, the wine opens and you feel honey, beeswax, tobacco. Sometimes it is even a little bit smoky. It’s truly a wine of character. Lots of new discoveries to be made.
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