Vinous Table: Wistub du Sommelier, Alsace, France

Vinous Table, France: Alsace

Ian D'Agata, Aug 2017

Wistubs are equivalents of modern day bistros but that harken back to past times, offering home style food in rural, country settings. Wistub du Sommelier, one of the finest in Alsace and a favorite dining hangout of local vignerons and wine lovers, rarely disappoints.

The hillsides at turckheim and the zind humbrecht winery cover

Alsace: The 2015s and Late-Released 2014s

featured, France: Alsace

Ian D'Agata, Mar 2017

Although the 2014 and 2015 vintages posed distinct challenges for growers and winemakers alike, the former year produced some sleek, delicious, brisk whites (especially Rieslings) while the latter vintage yielded many rich, powerful examples, including some of the best Gewürztraminers in decades.

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Weinbach Riesling Schlossberg Cuvée Ste. Catherine: 1990-2011

featured, France: Alsace, Verticals & Retrospectives

Ian D'Agata, Nov 2016

Domaine Weinbach is arguably one of the world’s greatest wine estates. Over the years, the Faller family has produced myriad fantastic wines that are sought by wine lovers and collectors everywhere. That consistent track record has shed light on Alsace’s many delicious, age-worthy and memorable white wines. Quality is so high across the board at Weinbach that it is hard to choose a single “best” wine as the subject of a vertical tasting.

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Trimbach: Riesling Clos Ste. Hune 1966-2010

featured, France: Alsace, Verticals & Retrospectives

Antonio Galloni, Oct 2016

This remarkable vertical tasting of Trimbach’s flagship Riesling Clos Ste. Hune encompassed a number of reference-point, older vintages that are now virtually impossible to find along with the soon-to-be-released 2010. Clos Ste. Hune has a rare ability to transmit the essence of place and vintage while acquiring considerable complexity in bottle, all of which make make it one of the most distinctive wines in the world. I tasted these wines at a seminar hosted by Pierre Trimbach last year at the Villa d’Este Wine Symposium.

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Zind-Humbrecht’s Pinot Gris Clos Saint Urbain Rangen de Thann 1983-2013

featured, France: Alsace, Verticals & Retrospectives

Ian D'Agata, Jun 2016

While Zind-Humbrecht’s Rieslings and Gewürztraminers from the estate’s prime Clos Saint Urbain parcel within the Grand Cru Rangen frequently number among Alsace’s top bottlings, it is their Pinot Gris that reaches the greatest heights of winedom. In my view, the family’s Pinot Gris Rangen de Thann Clos Saint Urbain is the world’s greatest dry Pinot Gris.

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Vertical Tasting of Domaine Dirler-Cadé’s Sylvaner

featured, France: Alsace, Verticals & Retrospectives

Ian D'Agata, May 2016

One reason I never miss a chance to visit Jean Dirler and his family is that the Dirler-Cadé estate in Bergholtz makes outstanding wines from several different Alsace varieties. Its Sylvaner, a grape often treated as an afterthought in Alsatian wine-production circles, is especially noteworthy. I do not feel that I am exaggerating when I describe it as a world-class wine, and the fact that it ages extremely well is an added bonus.

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Remembering Etienne Hugel

featured, France: Alsace

Ian D'Agata, Apr 2016

Etienne Hugel, the highly admired commercial director for Famille Hugel, died on April 8, at just 57. An ambassador of his family’s wines, as well as those of Alsace, Hugel left a lasting impression on all those he met throughout his travels around the world. He will be deeply missed.


Alsace: The 2014s and Late-Release 2013s

featured, France: Alsace

Ian D'Agata, Feb 2016

Alsace is home to the best Gewürztraminers on the planet, along with Rieslings and Pinot Gris that are among the finest anywhere. All three varieties also produce what are some of the world's most profound late-harvest sweet wines. Alsace's 2014 vintage is not going to be remembered as particularly memorable, but the more serious 2013 wines, most of which are bottled and released later, have turned out nicely.

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Cellar Favorite: 1983 Léon Beyer Gewürztraminer Selection de Grains Nobles Quintessence

Cellar Favorites, France: Alsace

Ian D'Agata, Dec 2015

Léon Beyer is one of Alsace’s great names in wine, famously sticking over the years to a range of truly dry wines.

Seppi sylv icewine vinous cellar favorite

Cellar Favorite: 1998 Seppi Landmann Sylvaner Recolté en Vin de Glace

Cellar Favorites, France: Alsace

Ian D'Agata, Sep 2015

Landmann was an Alsatian producer known for thinking outside the box, and this wine is but an example (there were many more)...