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Alsace

With its fairytale aesthetic, Germanic influence and strong emphasis on white wines...

With its fairytale aesthetic, Germanic influence and strong emphasis on white wines, Alsace is one of France’s most unique viticultural regions. This hotly contested stretch of land running north to south on France’s northeastern border has spent much of its existence as German territory. Nestled in the rain shadow of the Vosges mountains, it is one of the driest regions of France but enjoys a long and cool growing season. Autumn humidity facilitates the development of “noble rot” for the production of late-picked sweet wines, Vendange Tardive and Sélection de Grains Nobles.

The best wines of Alsace can be described as aromatic and honeyed, even when completely dry. The region’s “noble” varieties, the only ones permitted within Alsace’s 51 Grands Crus vineyards, are Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Muscat, and Pinot Gris.

Riesling is Alsace’s main specialty. In its youth, Alsatian Riesling is dry, fresh and floral, but develops complex mineral and flint character with age. Gewurztraminer is known for its signature spice and lychee aromatics, and is often utilized for late harvest wines. Pinot Gris is prized for its combination of crisp acidity and savory spice as well as ripe stone fruit flavors. Muscat, vinified dry, tastes of ripe green grapes and fresh rose petal.

Other varieties grown here include Pinot Blanc, Auxerrois, Chasselas, Sylvaner and Pinot Noir—the only red grape permitted in Alsace and mainly used for sparkling rosé known as Crémant d’Alsace. Most Alsatian wines are single-varietal bottlings and unlike other French regions, are also labeled with the variety name.

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    Domaine Weinbach Pinot Blanc Reserve 2016
    Pinot Blanc from Alsace, France
    • WS90
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    Zind-Humbrecht Gewurztraminer 2016
    Gewurztraminer from Alsace, France
    • JS92
    • WS91
    • RP91
    • WE91
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    Domaine Weinbach Cuvee Theo Riesling 2016
    Riesling from Alsace, France
    • WS91
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    Trimbach Reserve Riesling 2016
    Riesling from Alsace, France
    • WS93
    • JS92
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    Hugel Riesling (375ML half-bottle) 2016
    Riesling from Alsace, France
    • WE92
    • WS91
    • JS91
    • D90
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    Currently Unavailable $13.99
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    Domaine Weinbach Cuvee Theo Gewurztraminer 2016
    Gewurztraminer from Alsace, France
    • WS91
    • JD90
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    Schieferkopf Riesling Lieu-dit Berg 2012
    Riesling from Alsace, France
    • WS91
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    Schieferkopf Riesling Lieu-dit Buehl 2012
    Riesling from Alsace, France
    • WS90
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    Domaine Mittnacht Freres Rosacker Riesling Grand Cru 2014
    Riesling from Alsace, France
    • WS91
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    Currently Unavailable $35.99
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    Domaines Schlumberger Les Princes Abbes Riesling 2013
    Riesling from Alsace, France
    • WS89
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    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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