I have to admit, Alsace wines are not my favourite…… I can appreciate a great wine but I don’t necessarily have to like it! But I DO like Alsace the region, especially the strip between Ribeauville and Turckheim and this was our third holiday here.
Wines play a big part of daily life here however: employment, the economy, wine tourism, and culture …. wine dominating language, relationships, food, history, family …
But this visit had a very specific wine related purpose, to seek out, taste and buy just one bottle of Gewürztraminer, and more specifically the Grand Cru Furstentum from Domaine Weinbach. This is wine #2 on my Wines 101 Bucket List and I had made an appointment with Catherine Faller, the owner of Domaine Weinbach, to taste this highly rated wine. Unlike Vincent Dauvissat of Chablis …. she agreed to let me in!
We arrived on time at 2.30pm at the Weinbach estate and were welcomed by Theresa, Catherine’s assistant, as we entered the hall and were taken through into the classiest tasting room ever! It looked like the drawing room of my grandparent’s home from the late 1800s, and I say that with great respect. We loved it as Theresa described the history of winemaking on the estate, the family history and how Catherine became the owner.
We began tasting with a chilled Pinot Blanc, crisp, fresh, slightly acidic and lightly mineral, a good palate cleanser for the “main course”. The Furstentum followed and we were not disappointed, a wine of great complexity, long finish and … nervosite! We bought two bottles, one for home and one to drink immediately …… But no detailed notes written in situ ….. be patient!
We drove back to our hotel in Ribeauville, got an ice bucket, four glasses and sat outside in the square and opened up the bottle. So, that’s #2 done on my Wines 101 Bucket List, not only a different grape, a different wine …. but a different experience in a very classy wine domaine. Now, where should we go next, need to study the book a bit more!