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Gustave Lorentz Reserve Riesling 2009

Riesling from Alsace, France
  • WE88
13% ABV
  • WE90
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13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2009 Gustave Lorentz Riesling Reserve has aromas of papaya, mangoes, green apples, and a touch of cinnamon stick shavings to add a slight hint of spice. The palate is light with nice tropical, floral, and mineral tones. Fairly crisp with some citrus / lemon zest / floral hints on the finish.

This wine is ideally paired with grilled seafood, poultry in light sauces, brie and other semi soft cheeses.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 88
Wine Enthusiast
Surprisingly soft for a Riesling, which gives the wine an easy attractiveness. Lively, fresh acidity and green apple and melon flavors follow through to the end, perhaps softened by a sense of the wine being off-dry.
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Gustave Lorentz

Gustave Lorentz

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Gustave Lorentz, Alsace, France
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The Lorentz family has been making wine since 1836 in the heart of the Alsace, which lies in the northeast corner of France, along the Rhine River. Charles Lorentz Sr., grandfather of the current president of Gustave Lorentz, developed his vineyards on the hills of Altenberg de Bergheim, in the foothills of the Vosges Mountains, which has grown to 85 acres in this extraordinary terroir, with four acres planted on the hills of the Grand Cru Kanzlerberg and 30 acres in the Grand Cru Altenberg de Bergheim.

The current management, led by Georges Lorentz, is the sixth generation of the family firm, headquartered in the medieval village of Bergheim, in the Haut-Rhin. As far back as anyone can recall, the grapes harvested from this extraordinary terroir have been vinified separately. Thus, Riesling, Pinot-Gris, Gewurztraminer and other Muscat varieties from the Altenberg de Bergheim vineyards unerringly express their unique qualities in these wines year-to-year. The family is very proud that the wines are “gastronomic,” meaning fresh, clean, well-balanced and mostly dry – great matches for many of the cuisines from the more than 55 countries where the wines are sold. As they have down through the generations, the Lorentz family hues to tradition while also employing state-of-the-art vinification techniques and equipment. Gustave Lorentz was among the first producers in the Alsace to use stelvin (screw-cap) closures. In 2012 the Gustave Lorentz vineyards became certified organic by Ecocert.

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.’

Riesling

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A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, Riesling possesses a remarkable ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining easily identifiable typicity. This versatile grape can be just as enjoyable dry or sweet, young or old, still or sparkling, and can age longer than nearly any other white variety. Riesling is best known in Germany and Alsace, and is also of great importance in Austria. The variety has also been particularly successful in Australia’s Clare and Eden Valleys, New Zealand, Oregon, Washington, cooler regions of California, and the Finger Lakes in New York.

In the Glass

Riesling is low in alcohol, with high acidity, steely minerality, and stone fruit, spice, citrus, and floral notes. At its ripest it leans towards juicy peach and nectarine, and pineapple, while in cooler climes it is more redolent of meyer lemon, lime, and green apple. With age, Riesling can become truly revelatory, developing unique, complex aromatics, often with a hint of gasoline.

Perfect Pairings

Riesling is very versatile, enjoying the company of sweet-fleshed fish like sole, most Asian food, especially Thai and Vietnamese (bottlings with some residual sugar and low alcohol are the perfect companions for dishes with substantial spice), and freshly shucked oysters. Sweeter styles work well with fruit-based desserts.

Sommelier Secret

It can be difficult to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling, and German labeling laws do not make things any easier. Look for the world “trocken” to indicate a dry wine, or “halbtrocken” or “feinherb” for off-dry. Some producers will include a helpful sweetness scale on the back label—happily, a growing trend.

CWC945735_2009 Item# 135858