Alsace field blend

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I admit this is a new one on me. Marcel Deiss from Bergheim in Alsace grows and vinifies – together – the different  grape varieties from a particular location. In this way, the effect of the varietal characteristics are reduced, and, a truer expression of terroir (the sense of place) is attained in the finished wine. This is not generally the case in Alsace where wine labels prominently feature the grape variety. The bottle contained no indication of the grapes used and their proportions.

The wine was a Grand Cru Altenberg 2003. It had a very deep gold colour, was beautifully clear and really inviting. With that depth of colour we expected sweetness but the viscosity (legs) wasn’t that pronounced on the side of the glass. It was 12% ABV.

Initially the nose was quite peppery but, as to be expected, not strongly varietal so we had a guessing game as to what might be in the blend. We thought we could detect Riesling and, later, Muscat. But their characteristics were muted.

The palate was rich and honeyed and definitely off-dry. There wasn’t a long finish but the mouth feel was that of a big, weighty wine. There was a balance of acidity which prevented the wine becoming cloying. It was a quality wine, no doubt, and one that could be drunk on its own or with a rich flavoured white cheese but on the blue spectrum rather than the acidic range. It was an excellent wine

Reading between the lines of Deiss’s web-site and field blends, it appears he is certainly regarded as unconventional in Alsace and has had disagreements with the authorities. But that is not unusual in this region where individual growers dominate.

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Filed under posted by Geoff