“The bells are Rangen ..” – but not just yet.

Richard and I visited Alsace in 2012, staying in Colmar and touring round the wine districts. We visited Domaine Schoffit and became acquainted with the family (brother and sister) who own the Clos St Theobald site in Rangen (pictured). Bernard Schoffit (their father) cleared the site some 30 years ago and started planting vines on the steep slopes, Pinot Gris at the top, Riesling in the middle with Gewurztraminer at the base. Rangen has now become a famous white wine site, the wines are in much demand, commanding prices of £40 upwards – Bernard Schoffit obviously saw the potential.

Schoffit’s Rangen Clos St Theobald 2011 was what we tried on Sunday. Richard had purchased it in Alsace (he thinks just one bottle, but you never know, there could be more squirrelled away) so it was good to check on the progress. Btw it’s a whopping 15% ABV.

Colour: pale green, minimal legs. Nose: a very much restrained citrus, very slightly perfumed, austere and no hint of the typical kerosene smell. Palate: very weighty, richer citrus, but much too alcoholic which dominated the  taste so all subtle flavours were lost. This wine is too young and needs at least another five years to start showing at its best. It’s a pity that it didn’t stay under the bed/in the sock drawer/at the bottom of the wardrobe a little longer.

[Richard: researching the visit to Alsace I came across this sentence, ‘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…’, so when we realised that Schoffit was only a few minutes drive away from our apartment we had to visit. I bought a bottle – possibly more – of this wine. Can’t remember the price and it is not available in the UK. A shipment for Russia was being readied when we were there. It wouldn’t be my desert island wine being slightly too sweet for me, not to mention too alcoholic. It was more typical when first opened – Geoff tried it 24h on – but, as you might guess from the just-about-legal bottle shape, Schoffit is nor a typical Alsace producer. Ultimately disappointing and if I do find another bottle I hang on to it for a while. Edit: found two more, Geoff has taken one off my hands.]

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