When I received the list of the wines to be included in the SuperValu French Wine Sale, the wine I was most keen to taste was this Pinot Blanc. Why? Well because it’s from Alsace, of course! And not only that, it’s also a wine I haven’t tried from a producer that I rate. This is one of ten “special guest wines” which are available on a limited basis only during the event which runs for three weeks from 3rd to 23rd September. For the first two weeks there is also an additional €10 off any six bottles – so get them while they last!
Disclosure: this bottle was kindly sent as a sample, opinions remain my own
Gustave Lorentz Pinot Blanc Réserve 2019
The Lorentz family can trace their origins in Alsace back to the 1650s, moving to Bergheim in 1748. Maison Lorentz was founded in 1836 and this is the date which adorns their bottles. The current custodian of the family estate is seventh generation Georges Lorentz. Grand Cru Altenberg de Bergheim is the jewel in their crown – they own 12.8 out of the total 35 hectares. Grand Cru Kanzlerberg is less than a tenth the size at just hectares – it’s the smallest in Alsace.
The Maison produces a huge array of wines (see below) across a total of 33 hectares, including the two Grand Cru sites, several Lieux Dits and other terroirs close to Bergheim. I reviewed L’Ami des Crustacés blend two years ago and loved it (see here) and have had several bottles of the Riesling Réserve over the past few years and enjoyed its chalky minerality. Now we turn to another wine from the Réserve range, Pinot Blanc.
As you may know, wines sold in the EU have to contain 85% of more of a variety if they are labelled as such. However, there is an exemption for Alsace Pinot Blanc as it can be made with anything up to 100% Auxerrois Blanc. For centuries Auxerrois was thought to be a type of Pinot, and was often called Pinot Auxerrois. However, DNA testing showed that it is actually the offspring of Pinot Noir and Gouais Blanc, and therefore a full sibling of Chardonnay. Pinot Blanc is just a colour mutation of Pinot Noir – and the two can be difficult to distinguish genetically.
As Crémant d’Alsace has become increasingly popular, much of the true Pinot Blanc grown in Alsace has been diverted from still wine production to sparkling. Thus Auxerrois has become a growing component in Pinot Blanc-labelled wines, here accounting for 65% with the balance Pinot Blanc. In the glass it’s a pale lemon in colour. The nose has upfront peach and pear with a strong mineral streak, backed up by citrus elements – there’s a lot going on!
These elements return on the palate but are joined by red and green apples, with the citrus resolved as lemon and grapefruit. There’s a juicy, almost voluptuous mid palate and a very long, crisp finish.
Even as an Alsace fanatic and Pinot Blanc lover this wine exceeded my expectations. It’s a versatile white wine that could be served as an aperitif or with many types of food, yet tasty enough to enjoy on its own. At its normal price this is good value but at the offer price it’s an absolute steal!
- ABV: 13.0%
- RRP: €18.68 down to €11.80 from 3rd to 23rd Sept (plus buy any 6 bottles save €10 from 3rd to 16th Sept)
- Stockists: SuperValu stores and supervalu.ie
The Gustave Lorentz range of wines:
- Grands Crus: Kanzlerberg (Riesling), Kanzlerberg (Pinot Gris), Altenberg de Bergheim (Riesling), Altenberg de Bergheim (Pinot Gris), Altenberg de Bergheim (Gewurztraminer)
- Lieux-Dits: Burg (Riesling), Schofweg (Pinot Gris), Rotenberg (Gewurztraminer), La Limite (Pinot Noir)
- Réserve: Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Muscat, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Sylvaner
- Cuvées Particulières: Pinot Noir, Riesling, Muscat, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir (oaked)
- Évidence (organic & vegan): Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir
- Special wines & blends: Fleurelle (Muscat, Pinot Blanc, Sylvaner), Pinot Noir Rosé, L’Ami des Crustacés (70% Pinot Auxerrois, 30% Pinot Blanc)
- Crémants d’Alsace: Brut Blanc, Brut Rosé, Zéro Dosage
- Sweeter wines: Riesling Vendanges Tardives (VT), Gewurztraminer VT, Muscat (VT), Pinot Gris (VT), Riesling Sélection de Grains Nobles (SGN), Gewurztraminer SGN, Pinot Gris SGN