Cave de Ribeauville Gewurztraminer Altenberg Grand Cru 2016
Ripe, lush and well-defined, this wine has lychee and spice aroma flavors with a silky texture. It is well-balanced yet intense, with a long, lingering aftertaste of smooth honey.
Pairs well with Indian or Chinese cuisine, as well as Foie Gras and Munster cheese.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The Cave de Ribeauvillé covers a single vineyard of 580 acres with 8 Grands Crus and many soils of great value. The total surface is managed by a quality chart which guarantees strict control of the yields, sustainable growth of the vineyards or even organic farming, and… manual harvest.
This choice for quality allows sorting of the best grapes that are transported in small elevator-wagons to the presses, without any pumping or handling. The juices then simply flow into the vats by the force of gravity. This method, unique in Alsace, enables all of the aromatic virtues of each varietal to be conserved. The wines express all the richness and diversity of the Alsatian soils. They are pure, straight and frank, with nice freshness and aromatic intensity.
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, Alsace 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 Alsace wines are single-varietal bottlings and unlike other French regions, are also labeled with the variety name.
Gewürztraminer, an expressive and aromatically distinctive white grape variety, is considered a noble variety in the Alsace region of France, and produces wonderful wines in the mountainous Alto Adige region of NE Italy. Generally this grape grows well in cooler regions and its natural intensity makes it a great ally for flavorful cuisine such as Indian, Middle Eastern or Moroccan. Somm Secret—Because of a charming perfume and tendency towards slight sweetness, Gewürztraminer makes for an excellent gateway wine for those who love sweet wines but want to venture into the realm of drier whites.