Alsace

  • white
  • 22 in stock
  • $19.99

Beck-Hartweg 2016 Alsace Pinot Noir F (Frankstein)

This is a young but ready to drink Pinot Noir from the granite terroir of the Grand Cru Frankstein. For reasons that would elongate this tasting note greatly if I were to explain, Pinot Noir used to be an accepted grape for the Frankstein Grand Cru, but not any longer. Most growers tore up their Pinot Noir and planted Pinot Gris, which Florian thinks is not suited to the terroir. In any case, we're glad the Beck-Hartweg family didn't tear up their Pinot Noir vines, as this is a very tasty and impressive wine! There's a two-week long maceration here, with occasional remontage of only a few liters, just to keep the cap wet. Simply put, they occasionally use a few liters of wine to keep skins wet at the top of the vat of fermenting juice. Harmful bacteria can form there, and the skins can dry out, so they gently soak the "cap" a bit, but do not pump-over or press, minimizing the extraction of tannin. The wine has some structure, but it's the combination of delicate tannin with the sensational granite minerality that defines the structure. Though enjoyable now, this should improve quite a bit over the next 5 years, or likely longer. 

  • red
  • 1 in stock
  • $24.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur
  • white sweet
  • 3 in stock
  • $69.99

  • white sweet
  • 4 in stock
  • $109.99

  • white sweet
  • 8 in stock
  • $84.99

  • white
  • 3 in stock
  • $22.99

  • white
  • 9 in stock
  • $19.99

  • white
  • 14 in stock
  • $19.99

  • white
  • 5 in stock
  • $19.99

  • white
  • 1 in stock
  • $37.99

Frick 2012 Alsace Grand Cru Steinert Riesling

Frick made two versions of the GC Steinert Riesling in 2012, one with filtration and the addition of a small amount of SO2 at bottling, and a second with no filtration and no sulfites added. He took great interest in watching my father and I taste the two, and the anticipation of our response was accompanied by a touch of childlike excitement. I think I remember him being quite pleased that we both preferred the second version. Truth be told, I like them both. The first had a bit of residual sugar, and was very classic, but I ended up preferring the second because it was drier, and had a subtle salinity to it that carried the wine on the palate in a much more interesting way. There's a touch of honey dew melon, lemon, and saffron, and is a bit fleshy on the palate. The Steinert parcel is oriented East, on a terroir of limestone, with relatively dry soil. A great wine to have over the course of many days.  Eben Lillie

  • white
  • 12 in stock
  • $24.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Frick 2015 Cremant d'Alsace Blanc de Noir Sans sulfite ajouté

Blanc de Noirs (100% Pinot Noir), and no slouch, this is a big, broad, red-fruited Cremant with no SO2 added. 2015 was a hot year in Alsace and it shows here, with depth, richness and mouth-filling brioche/yeasty notes. The finish is very mineral and dry, which is a nice effect after the explosive attack and mid-palate.  Eben Lillie

  • white sparkling
  • 17 in stock
  • no discount
  • $21.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Frick 2017 Alsace Strangenberg Pinot Noir

This is a lovely and perfectly full Pinot Noir from a vineyard with iron rich red soil, and limestone terroir. The parcel is nestled on a plateau at 400m, giving this site the highest elevation for the Fricks Pinot Noir vines. Due to the breeze, harvest here is usually about 10 days later than their other site, 'Rot Muhrle.' There's a touch of Pinot spice on the palate, but it's mostly ripe, silky fruit and a very clean, subtle finish. There's very little perceptible tannin but it still drinks like a wine with some backbone. A side note: Amanda and I tasted the 2003 Strangenberg, also with no SO2 added like the 2017, and interestingly enough also kept under crown cap, as the Fricks like to do. It was beautiful, and it turns out the Fricks saved a bunch, so we'll have some cases next year!  Eben Lillie

  • red
  • 12 in stock
  • $21.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Frick 2017 Alsace Grand Cru Vorbourg Pinot Gris Maceration

Though it seems like a relatively new category, it turns out winemakers in Alsace have been making skin contact wines for some time. The first may have been Bannwarth, who experimented with qvevri (georgian clay anforae). Then, along with the Fricks, JF Rietsch, Patrick Meyer, and Bruno Scheuller. From the Grand Cru Vorbourg vineyard, this is Pinot Gris with 10 days of skin contact and no sulfites added. The color is a deep auburn/ruby in the glass, almost reminiscent of a light red. On the palate, it's balanced and clean, with faint tannin, peach fuzz, and subtle red fruit. Eben Lillie

  • white
  • 11 in stock
  • $26.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Frick 2017 Alsace Muscat Sec (Dry)

At the end of a wonderfully long, educational, and theatrical tasting last May with the Fricks, Pierre presented a simple Muscat sec, zero zero, with no sulfites and no residual sugar. What a pitch-perfect, electric wine! It's totally dry and downright rejuvenating. Pierre of course knew this and was relishing the slow motion of our minds being blown. With a smile, he told us they still had some if we were interested, so now we're sharing it with you! The nose is not spicy, but is in every way classic Muscat. Stony and fresh, with density and length. Eben Lillie

  • white
  • 7 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Geschickt 2014 Vin d'Alsace Grand Cru Kaefferkopf

When I was in Alsace, I visited our friend Christian Binner, and he told me about a long tradition in Alsace of making wines from a particular site, that were not varietal, but instead blends, meant to highlight the unique terroir of each vineyard - and in particular the Grand Crus.  Christian once asked his father about an old bottle in the family cellar that simply said "Ammerschwihr" and his father responded "oh your grandfather used to do that... don't worry about it." Along with a handful of other winemakers in Alsace, including Geschickt, there has been a newfound interest in this Alsatian tradition, and I'm personally very fascinated with it. The Grand Cru Kaefferkopf is 60% Gewurtztraminer, 30% Riesling, and 10% Pinot Gris. It's beautifully balanced, dry, and earthy. Kaefferkopf is technically a slope of clay and limestone, but there is a unique granite fault running through the vineyard, which I think dons a particular stony minerality to the wine. I find this is a nice opportunity to reflect on the way terroir affects the mineral character of a wine, and I'm glad there are more of these wines being produced again.  Open ahead of time, or decant!  Eben Lillie

  • white
  • 5 in stock
  • $34.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur
  • white
  • 6 in stock
  • $29.99

  • white
  • 21 in stock
  • $21.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur
  • white sparkling
  • 15 in stock
  • no discount
  • $21.99

  • red
  • 9 in stock
  • $26.99

  • red
  • 11 in stock
  • $34.99

  • red
  • 10 in stock
  • $31.99

  • white
  • 19 in stock
  • $15.99

  • white
  • 12 in stock
  • $24.99

Laurent Barth 2016 Alsace Riesling Granite

This is a classic dry Riesling from Laurent Barth. It's approachable and very easy to drink, but also has emotion and depth, and will likely be a wine that one could keep for a while. 2015 was a hot year, so there's good ripeness here. Plenty of complexity and salinity with nice granitic character in the finish. Laurent uses the word "salivant" for this wine, which I take it has to do with salivating due to the minerality of the wine, but that's open to interpretation! Anyway, it's a fantastic dry Riesling and worth a try for any fan of the legendary grape, or any one new to the wines of Laurent Barth. -Eben Lillie

  • white
  • 8 in stock
  • $34.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur
  • white sweet
  • 3 in stock
  • $59.99

  • white sweet
  • 2 in stock
  • $69.99

Schueller, Bruno 2016 Alsace Riesling Bildstoecklé

As far as I can tell, this is the one. People say Bruno's wines are different and transcend what anyone would possibly expect from Alsace. They say he's an iconoclast who follows his own path. This is certainly true, but I often taste with Bruno and simply find the wines to be amazing, pure and energizing, and great examples of what a really good natural wine can be. However, it is a bit of a singular experience to taste a full-on oxidative Riesling like the Bildstoeckle. The nose is reminiscent of Jura sous voile whites, and there's subtle stone fruit on the palate mingling with the oxidative notes. There's no copper or sulfur used in the vineyard - something that is really difficult to pull off save in particular micro-climates. The parcel is on what Bruno calls a "good spot" on top of a hill on limestone terroir, well aerated and with relatively poor soil. In any case, this is not a Riesling for everyone, but certainly recommended for fans of oxidative whites.  Eben Lillie  

  • white
  • 2 in stock
  • no discount
  • $36.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Schueller, Bruno 2016 Alsace Riesling Cuvee H

From the Pfersigberg Grand Cru, this is a classy (very) dry Riesling. There's a subtle oxidative lean to the wine, but lovely ripe fruit is dominant. Lime-flower and citrus aromas that become more exotic and slightly spiced, the palate is stony with with white fruits and hints of anise and caramel. There's good material and acidity here for mid-term cellaring. In short, a lovely and elegant wine!  Eben Lillie

  • 2 in stock
  • no discount
  • $36.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur