Single Bottle Review

Dopff & Irion Cuvée René Dopff Alsace Gewurztraminer 2015

In common with tight-knit communities the world over, there are several common surnames in Alsace – including those which are common affixed to the door of wineries – so often first names are added to surnames, or another family name such as a mother or wife’s maiden name, to distinguish one Sipp or Meyer from another.

Dopff & Irion are based in Riquewihr, a contender for prettiest village in Alsace (and that’s saying something!) and certainly one of the most visited.  As alluded to above, they have a (semi) namesake in their home village with the respected producer Dopff au Moulin, a specialist in crémant.

Riquewihr_-_2016
Riquewihr in 2016 (Credit: Elekes Andor)

Dopff & Irion have 27 hectares of vines at Riquewihr – including those bottled as Château de Riquewihr – plus the Clos Château d’Isenbourg near Rouffach.  Their holdings break down as three key varieties: Riesling 35.8%, Gewurztraminer 29.4%, Pinot Gris 23.5%, plus smaller amounts of Pinot Noir 5.5% and Muscat 4.3%.

Cuvée René Dopff is the “everyday plus” label of Dopff & Irion; it’s not the best range they make but is of a high standard.  There are seven single varietals in the range: the five mentioned just above plus Sylvaner and Pinot Blanc, these two I presume from bought in grapes.

Dopff & Irion Cuvée René Dopff Alsace Gewurztraminer 2015

Dopff-Irion-Gewurztraminer1-500x500

Gewurztraminer is one of the most expressively aromatic grapes around, so needs to be handled with kid gloves during the wine making process.  For this wine the press was deliberately set at low pressure to minimise extraction from the skins and fermentation was at a controlled temperature.

The depth of colour in the glass gives a strong indication that this is something with a bit of oomph.  The nose is textbook Gewurz – Turkish delight (the rose flavoured one, not lemon) and lychees, with a little exotic spice.  These notes follow through on the palate which is generous, rich and round.  There’s some residual sugar but it’s certainly not “sugary”, still fresh with a crisp finish.  The overall sensation is one of balance – often difficult to achieve with this grape – and excellence.  The company’s website gives an ageing potential of five years for this wine, but it is nowhere near tired and has several years left in it.

  • ABV: 13.5%
  • RRP: €21.99
  • Stockists: Vanilla Grape, Kenmare; JJ O’Driscoll, County Cork
Single Bottle Review

Frankie’s Single Bottle Review #10 – Domaine Rémy Gresser Gewurz “Kritt” 2015

Alsace-wine-route
Credit: CIVA

Despite its long and thin, North-South orientation, probably the most significant compass direction in Alsace is East – West, as going East takes you closer to the plains by the Rhine (not that great for quality wine production), whereas heading West takes you into the foothills of the Vosges mountains (where most of the Grand Cru vineyards are located).

However, latitude does have an appreciable effect, with the richest wines being made around Guebwillwer and Thann in the south, and lighter styles in the northern villages such as Barr (where I stayed for a week a few years ago).

Very close to Barr is the village of Andlau, home to Domaine Rémy Gresser, a small family-owned producer.  They have a total of 10.3 hectares under vine, split across plots within the Grand Crus Kastelberg, Wiebelsberg and Moenchberg plus the Lieux-dits (recognised vineyards that do not have Grand Cru status) Brandhof, Brandberg and Kritt. The family’s vinous links to Andlau have been documented as far back as 1520 when Thiébaut Gresser  (himself a viticulturalist) was appointed prevost.

Domaine Rémy Gresser Gewurztraminer “Kritt” 2015 (13.5%, £21 from Top Selection)

Gresser front

Gresser back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On opening the bottle there’s no doubt what the grape is, before a glass has even been poured – white flower blossoms and lychees unfurl into the room.

Unusually above I have put photos of both the front and back labels up: two key figures are revealed on the back, being 13.5% alcohol and a sweetness of 3 on a scale of 1 to 10.  So, it’s fairly high in alcohol (though not untypical of Gewurz) which gives it some body, but off-dry in sweetness (compare to the medium and medium-sweet pair I reviewed here).

On the palate it is again distinctly Gewurz, but with a lightness and elegance that is remarkably refined.  If you find many Gewurz to be too full on – especially for pairing with more delicately spiced food – then this could be the wine you have been looking for!

 

Disclosure: sample kindly provided for review