Even as a passionate fan of Alsace and a reasonable French speaker, I’m not confident of my ability to pronounce Voegtlinshoffen, the home village of Maison Joseph Cattin. The firm’s origins lie at the end of the 17th century with Francois Cattin, a Swiss builder who subsequently turned winemaker in 1720. “Depuis 1720” thus surrounds the family’s crest on their bottles.
130 years later his descendant Antoine Cattin became a full time vigneron; it was common then for grape growers to also have other crops or animals, so this was a significant step. Antoine’s son Joseph followed in his father’s footsteps and became a major figure in Alsace wine. The firm’s success was helped by being featured in Parisian Alsace-themed restaurant La Cigogne, run by Joseph’s brother Théodore.
Major expansion took place in the last quarter of the 20th century; holdings of 7 hectares were expanded to over 60 by Joseph’s grandsons Jacques and Jean-Marie. Cattin is now run by Jacques Cattin junior and his wife Anaïs – the eleventh generation of the Cattin family.
Cattin AOC Alsace wines consist of:
- 2 Rieslings (the regular Riesling below plus Lieu-dit Elsbourg
- 2 Pinot Noirs (red and rosé)
- Pinot Blanc
- Pinot Gris
They also make several VTs and SGNS, Crémants and other special bottlings. Their Grand Cru holdings are all in the Hatschbourg, where they make wines from all four noble varieties.
Joseph Cattin Alsace Riesling Réserve 2016
Although a few years on from release, this Riesling is still pale in colour, very light gold with flecks of green. The nose combines citrus with mineral and floral notes. The palate is crisp and fresh, full of racy lime and lemon, a hint of peach and a long mineral finish. If this 2016 doesn’t exhibit the rapier-sharp freshness that it would have had on release, then perhaps sabre-sharp freshness, if such a term exists, is the best descriptor. Maison Cattin suggest an ageing potential of five years, but I think this will be lovely well after that. A delicious Alsace Riesling!
- ABV: 12.0%
- RS: 3.9 g/L
- RRP: ~ €20
- Stockists: contact Boutique Wines for availability