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Domaine Mittnacht Freres Gyotaku 2011

Other White Blends from Alsace, France
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    Winemaker Notes

    It is aromatic, dry and fresh to complement fish, with enough character to stand up to soy and wasabi. Our version of a Gentil, it is blended with over 50% of the four noble grape varieties (Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Muscat); in this case the exact blend 40% Pinot Blanc, 30% Riesling, 10% Muscat, 10% Pinot Gris, and 10% Gewurztraminer.

    Made specifically for Sushi and Sashimi, this wine was created through the marriage of a French Winemaker and a Japanese Chef.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Domaine Mittnacht Freres

    Domaine Mittnacht Freres

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    Domaine Mittnacht Freres, Alsace, France
    A family-run estate begun in 1958, Mittnacht Freres is a domaine to watch. While relatively low on many radars (in the United States, at least), this 20-hectare estate produces spot-on, expressive, beautifully made wines from traditional Alsace varietals. Run by the conscientious Christophe Mittnacht, the domaine employs organic and biodynamic practices in the vineyard, believing that biologically complex, complete soils are essential for producing original, meaningful wines. The domaine has holdings in Grand Cru Rosacker (in which Trimbach's fabled Clos-St.-Hune is located), as well as excellent parcels between Ribeauville and Riquewihr, whose vines are the source of Mittnacht's terrific varietally labeled wines. With this kind of quality, they won't remain under the radar for long.

    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 on France’s northeastern border has spent much of its existence as German territory, and this is easy to see both in Alsace’s architecture and wine styles. A long, narrow strip running north to south, Alsace is nestled in the rain shadow of the Vosges mountains, making it perhaps the driest region of France. The growing season is long and cool, and autumn humidity facilitates the development of noble rot for the production of late-picked sweet wines Vendange Tardive and Sélection de Grains Nobles. Alsace is divided into two halves—the Haut-Rhin and the Bas-Rhin—the former, at higher elevations, is associated with higher quality and makes up the lower portion of the region.

    The best wines of Alsace can be described as aromatic and honeyed, even when completely dry. The region’s “noble” varieties are Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Muscat, and Pinot Gris. Other varieties grown here include Pinot Blanc, Auxerrois, Chasselas, Sylvaner, and Pinot Noir—the only red grape permitted here, responsible for about 10% of production and often used for sparkling rosé known as Crémant d’Alsace. Riesling is Alsace’s main specialty, and historically has always been bone dry to differentiate it from its German counterparts. In its youth, Alsatian Riesling is fresh and floral, developing complex mineral and gunflint 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 is vinified dry, and tastes of ripe green grapes and fresh rose petal. There are 51 Grand Cru vineyards in Alsace, and only these four noble varieties are permitted within. While most Alsatian wines are bottled varietally, blends of several (often lesser) varieties are commonly labeled as ‘Edelzwicker.’

    Other White Blends

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    With hundreds of white grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

    SRKFMH_040_2011 Item# 121412