Alsace is among the most beautiful wine regions in the world. Dramatic scenery and ridiculously pretty mediaeval villages lie in the shadow of the Vosges Mountains whose influence on the weather make this one of the driest regions in France. Alsace wine also benefits from an unexpectedly warm climate for a northerly vineyard and attaining full ripeness for the grapes is seldom a problem.Although growers' styles vary considerably from one producer to the next, what is shared between them is a natural cleanness and the desire to express the character of each, individual grape type in its purest form. With five main varieties to choose from and, despite being from one of the oldest wine growing regions in the world, Alsace wine presents us with invaluable modern originality, at a time when our brand-saturated high street multiples offer us nothing more than formulaic, "international" varietals. It is a vital point of difference: Alsace wine is unique in France, let alone the rest of the globe, while it is nearly impossible to tell whether some chardonnays are made in the northern or southern hemispheres, never mind name a country.For Alsace wine, we focus on two producers: Cave de Turkheim based in ...er ...Turkheim, whose "reserve" level wines we stock are a great way to introduce yourself to this fascinating region and its grape varieties from steely, zingy Riesling, through riper and rounder Pinot Blanc to the rich Pinot Gris and the ripe spicy Gewurztraminer. There is also a Sylvaner which is aged, albeit briefly, in Acacia wood for an extra dimension. The wines from Mittnacht Freres take Alsace to a whole new level. They cost a bit more sure, but what you get for your money shines through in the quality and concentration of the flavours. From time to time we also feature the wines of Domaine Baur in Eguisheim as well. Unlike the rest of France, the wines of Alsace must be labelled with their grape variety. Here is a brief guide:
Respect to the ancient Houses of the region, sure, but in the hands of growers like those above, the future of these wines is more assured than ever.
All of our wines are available by mail order to customers in the UK