Jean-Baptiste Adam Les Natures Riesling 2017
What a beautiful gastronomic Riesling! Indeed, the slightly mineral nose let appear in the mouth notes of citrus fruits, which give it a great liveliness. Recognized as one of the best white grape varieties in the world, Riesling d'Alsace is a wine of gastronomy par excellence. Always elaborated in full harmony with the earth and the vine, raised in the cellar in hundred-year-old casks, they are wines with affirmed characters and specific flavors, expressing with generosity the purity and the naturalness. These wines called "Natures" will delight lovers of real pure wines.
Beyond the pairing that we naturally knows with Alsatian cuisine (sauerkraut, matelote, palette of smoked pork), it excels with fish, shellfish (St Jacques) and crustaceans. It highlights with grace the seafood flavors of seafood. It is admirable with poultry, white meats and goat cheeses.
The Adam estate is located in the heart of Alsace in the village of Ammerschwihr, which enjoys an exceptional microclimate of sunny, warm and dry days that guarantee ideal conditions for growing grapes. The region also receives the least amount of yearly rainfall, only about 500 mm per year. This ensures gradual ripening of the grapes and extremely aromatic wines. The wines of Adam come from slopes with optimum exposure to sunlight. The vineyards are a mosaic of terroir and minerals consisting of gneiss, granite, shale and sandstone.
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.
Riesling possesses a remarkable ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining its identity. A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, 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. Somm Secret—Given how difficult it is to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling from the label, here are some clues to find the dry ones. First, look for the world “trocken.” (“Halbtrocken” or “feinherb” mean off-dry.) Also a higher abv usually indicates a drier Riesling.