help newbie choose wine from strasbourg - Printable Version
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- mdude85 - 06-01-2005 07:05 AM
Hi everyone. I am a student from the US but I am traveling in Europe this summer. This weekend I am going to Strasbourg to pick out some wine for my father's birthday. He is an avid drinker (has about 400 bottles and tastes 3 times a week) but I am not so experienced. I am looking for something completely local to the region (that I cannot buy in the States) and something in the 25-30 euro range (or cheaper is fine too).
Is there anything unique that you can recommend? I do not really know his personal tastes except I do not think he likes sweet wine. I'm sure he will appreciate anything I get but I don't want it to be completely bad. Any ideas??
[This message has been edited by mdude85 (edited 06-01-2005).]
- wondersofwine - 06-01-2005 01:16 PM
Oops, I read your posting wrong and thought you said he LIKES sweet whites so I posted on a Gewurztraminer Vendanges Tardives or Riesling late harvest. Since he DOESN'T LIKE sweet whites look for a bottle or half bottle of a Boxler or Weinbach Gewurztraminer (not the Vendanges Tardives) or a Riesling. While Boxler or Weinbach wines may be found in the USA, they aren't as easy to come by as the Trimbach or Hugel wines.
- mdude85 - 06-02-2005 02:59 AM
Thanks for the reply. I think he has several Riesling bottles so I will probably stay away from that, but I'll check out the others. When I go to Strasbourg, is it possible to ask the merchant if a particular bottle is sold in the States? Would the merchant know this? Also, are there any small wineries in the Strasbourg areas that are able to personalize a bottle of wine from the vitner (like signing a bottle or writing a note), or do I need an appointment?
[This message has been edited by mdude85 (edited 06-02-2005).]
- wondersofwine - 06-02-2005 07:33 AM
The merchant may be able to tell you that a certain product is not sold in the United States. I don't know about the personalizing the bottle. Also, Bucko, on this board, has more knowledge of Alsace wines than I do and I think he has visited there so I hope he will see this thread and offer further info.
- Bucko - 06-02-2005 09:43 AM
A wine virtually impossible to find in the US is Kientzler. Here are my notes from a visit last spring:
2002 Kientzler, Chasselas, Alsace, France, $NA. A grape common in Switzerland, this wine has a Sauvignon Blanc nose. Light on the palate, this wine begs for oysters on the half shell; 85.
2000 Kientzler, Gewurztraminer, Alsace, France, $NA. This is fantastic for an entry level wine. Lots of tasty apricots and figs, with great acidity for this grape; 91.
2000 Kientzler, Gewurztraminer, Reserve ParticuliÃ¨re, Alsace, France, $NA. I got so busy talking to Kientzler that I neglected writing a note. He states that they blend some of their VT back into this wine to make the reserve. It was tasty.
1989 Kientzler, Gewurztraminer, SÃ©lection de Grains Nobles, Alsace, France, $NA. This one was opened to let us see how their SGN ages (well I might add). The nose and palate are a complex mix of filberts, cocoa, coffee, and baklava. Stunning stuff; 94.
1998 Kientzler, Gewurztraminer, Vendages Tardive, Alsace, France, $NA. Kientzler says that these grapes come from a low-yielding site known for botrytis formation. Imagine baklava with juniper overtones, and then lay on a layer of dazzling acidity. Almond and peach overtones linger; 93.
2001 Kientzler, Muscat, Alsace, France, $12. WeÂ´re talking gooseberries here. Dry, with brisk acidity, this is a good food wine, especially with white asparagus; 87.
2000 Kientzler, Muscat, Kirchberg Grand Cru, Alsace, France, $NA. Similar to their regular Muscat, but with more floral notes and complexity, although a tad softer on the palate; 89.
2002 Kientzler, Pinot Auxerrois, â€œK,â€™ Alsace, France, $NA. This grape is often sold under the name of Pinot Blanc d'Alsace. Delicately sweet, with some light spicy notes. Oysters Rockefeller come to mind; 88.
2001 Kientzler, Pinot Blanc, Alsace, France, $11. Nice, crisp acidity gives life to the classic Pinot Blanc flavors. Lingering finish. Pair with shrimp and oyster dishes; 87.
2000 Kientzler, Riesling, Alsace, France, $NA. Wow! What a nice low-end Riesling. Classics flavors had me wishing for a plate of escargot; 88.
2000 Kientzler, Riesling, Giesberg Grand Cru, Alsace, France, $NA. Kientzler said they could have sold this as an SGN but did not. Intense on the nose and palate, with petrol nuances and gripping acidity, this wine is just stunning; 95.
2001 Kientzler, Riesling, Giesberg Grand Cru, Alsace, France, $NA. Perfect for Thai food fans. This is a class act wine with spirited acidity, great minerality, and yummy citrus and pear fruit. Delightful; 92.
2001 Kientzler, Riesling, Osterberg Grand Cru, Alsace, France, $NA. YouÂ´ll find plenty of chalky minerals on the palate. The fruit profile/flavors remind me of Frederick Emile; 88.
2002 Kientzler, Riesling, Reserve ParticuliÃ¨re, Alsace, France, $16. Great minerals and petrol on the nose and palate. This is an overachiever at a very fair price. Often contains declassified Grand Cru grapes; 90.
2002 Kientzler, Tokay Pinot Gris, Alsace, France, $NA. This is a classic Pinot Gris that will make a great food wine. Refreshing acidity breathes life into the peachy fruit flavors. The fruity finish seems endless; 91.
2001 Kientzler, Tokay Pinot Gris, Kirchberg de RibeauvillÃ© Grand Cru, Alsace, France, $NA. Almonds, peaches, and apricots define this wine, which is softer in the mouth than some of their other releases; 90.
2001 Kientzler, Tokay Pinot Gris, Reserve ParticuliÃ¨re, Alsace, France, $NA. Fruit tart flavors combine with smoky caramel and great acidity to make a delightful wine. This is a perfect match for foie gras; 92.
- mdude85 - 06-02-2005 10:07 AM
Thanks for the information. I'll print out this thread and see what I can find in Strasbourg. I also hear it's a beautiful city; look forward to going.
I don't think I'll be going out to vineyards, so meeting the vitner is probably not an option, but I imagine there are small wine shops that sell these varietals.
- Innkeeper - 06-02-2005 11:40 AM
I hope you enjoy Strasbourg. The American Consulate in that city is were our twins' birth certificates are registered, as we were stationed in nearby Nancy at the time.
- TheEngineer - 06-02-2005 05:48 PM
It's also the place where the French female judge took away the gold medal from the Canadian pairs skaters........oh but my memory is short......what do I remember...@#$@#!
Actually my French capable wife made me get of the train at Strasbourg as she insisted that we had arrived at Salzburg...... My French being poorer ....well I'm not allowed to repeat this story.
- hotwine - 06-02-2005 06:18 PM
Mdude, that's a really neat city. It's on the primary invasion route between Germany and France, so both languages are spoken fluently. Be sure to check out the flohmarkt on weekends... we've still got stuff we picked up there for next to nothing 30 years ago. And the Mosel region isn't far away, so you might be able to visit Bernkastle... many superb wineries in that area. I'm envious.