Dopff & Irion Crustaces 2003
Fresh, very pleasant, opened tea and mineral aromas. Well balanced, with an excellent freshness. A nice dry with an enjoyable fruit. Easy drinking crispy wine.
René Dopff took over Dopff & Irion in 1945. He broke away from the old winemaking techniques and looked to the terroir rather than to the grape variety. He decided to divide the vineyard at Chateau de Riquewihr into four estates, which he rechristened with typically French names: Les Murailles, Les Sorcières, Les Maquisards and Les Amandiers. He opted for clearer labeling, abandoning gothic lettering in favor of a more sober script. These wines, made solely from the four noble grape varieties, expressed the very soul of the terroir. From that day on, each estate was dedicated to a particular variety. René Dopff then proceeded to ensure that his wines graced the best tables in France and the world over. He supplied wines to the Palais de l’Elysée, the French President’s residence, and for the launch of the luxury liner, “France”...
Dopff & Irion is proud of their inheritance and feel it is their duty to ensure that it continues to thrive and prosper. The love of wine, of their vines, and of the region is an invitation to a voyage through history to be shared and savored.
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.
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 enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a soft and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is more fragrant and naturally high in 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.