The Alsace region of eastern France nestles snugly against the German border, and its wines are a vivid reflection of that proximity. As with the nearby German wine regions of Pfalz, Baden and Mosel, Alsace is known for its light, aromatic, zesty, mineraly white wines: in particular Riesling and Gewürtztraminer.
Wine-wise, I’ve been in the Red Zone for a few months, so it’s been nice to get back into reviewing some whites again. And it was a pleasure to taste these two classy organic, biodynamic wines from Domaine Marcel Deiss. Both of them classic, high-quality Alsace wines.
Jancis Robinson called Alsace “one of the great, under-appreciated treasures of the wine world”, and I strongly agree. The beautiful, long-necked bottles (perfect for pouring across wide tables) reflect the German influence, although Alsace produces a higher proportion of dry wines than their neighbours across the border — giving it greater appeal to UK consumers. It’s funny how we love sugary food over here, but can’t tolerate sweet wines.
Marcel Deiss winery is located in the small village of Bergheim, south of Strasbourg, in the heart of the Alsace region. The family have been here for at least a couple of hundred years, and if you want the perfect introduction to fine Alsatian wines, you need look no further…
Marcel Deiss Riesling
This mouthwateringly refreshing dry Riesling has all the hallmarks you expect from quality Alsace wine. Buzzing with zesty lemon and lime, its stony minerality and succulent white fruit flavours (peach and pear) combine with that distinctive Riesling flavour that is, in all honesty, difficult to define.
Marcel Deiss Riesling, 12.5% volume. £20 at the time of writing at www.8wines.com
5 NINJA STARS
Marcel Deiss Gewürtztraminer 2016
Many English people aren’t used to aromatic, off-dry wines, but for those prepared to try this outstanding Gewürtztraminer: your bravery will be rewarded. Flamboyant aromas of rose, bergamot, peach, lychee, lime and white pepper draw you in, and if you’re not a lover of slightly sweeter wines, this one’s palate might just lead you to re-evaluate your opinions. Unleash it on your friends to dazzle them at dinner parties. Common knowledge says that wines like this pair well with spicy, Asian food. I’m not sure how much I agree with this, but it sure won’t go wrong with some tangy, soft chesse, driet fruit, chutney and crackers.
Marcel Deiss Gewürtztraminer 2016, 13.5% volume. £20 at the time of writing at www.8wines.com
5 NINJA STARS
Both of these Marcel Deiss Alsace wines are available online from 8wines.com.
Use the Wine Ninjas’ discount code WNINJAS8 at the checkout at www.8wines.com and you’ll get £12 off any orders over £100.