It’s nearly two years since Geoff and I spent a week in Colmar, a leading Alsace wine town. Every day we would drive out to a village to explore, taste and buy, often using the excellent Alsace Wine website as a guide. One day, looking through the pages on the site we realised that there was a very reputable producer within Colmar itself, namely Domaine Schoffit. The opening words on the relevant page were enticement enough, ‘…if I were forced to select one wine to drink the rest of my life, it would very well be Riesling Grand Cru Rangen Clos Saint-Théobald…’ This is the most expensive of the Schoffit wines but still reasonable at around £30.
Never heard of Schoffit? Us neither. Very below the radar – no website for example – and I doubt if we would have found the location of the winery without satnav. Just on the outskirts of Colmar in a rural suburb. On arrival it looked like a deserted farm with wine making equipment visible in outbuildings. Eventually someone turned up and we went into the tasting room, soon to be joined by the very friendly and enthusiastic M. Schoffit himself. He opened some gewurtz which was delicious – Geoff succumbed – and I bought some riesling, although not the Clos St-Théobald. [Edit: actually I did buy some.]
One of the wines purchased was Schoffit’s Sommerberg Riesling 2011 (14%, around £18). No UK supplier that I can find. Sommerberg is a granitic and very steep slope in Niedermorschwihr (home of Boxler, whose wines have also featured here). Classic riesling nose, lots of fruit and with an enticing mixture of acidity, leavened by a hint of sweetness. Very long with great mouth feel. A bargain. Incidentally, although it’s not evident from the photo, the bottle is much heavier and thicker than is usual in Alsace and it just about conforms to the mandatory Alsace shape.
(Geoff. Picture is of brother/sister team who run Schoffit. They took over from their father who famously brought and cleared their Rangen site in southern section of the Vosges vineyards. The picture was taking in the tasting room and we appreciated the time they spent with us – despite being very busy packing a shipment to Russia. As with most vineyard owners, we were made very welcome. The visit was in a very cold Easter and, judging by the number of car parks, the summer season must be packed with wine tourists. Great region, we would revisit.)