You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Alsace - Top Producers of Alsace

DK PublishingDK Publishing 2/07/2014 DKBooks

Maison Trimbach

Top Producers of Alsace

Clos St-Landelin - Haut-Rhin

location: rte du vin, Rouffach
telephone number: 03 89 78 58 00
wine styles: red, white
best vintages: 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1996, 1995, 1993
recommended wines: Riesling Vorbourg, Pinot Noir, Muscat Vendanges Tardives Vorbourg

This Alsatian operation was established in 1630 by Michel Muré. Part of the grand cru Vorbourg in Rouffach, the wines here are truly special: well-balanced and concentrated whites include a powerful Riesling and a refreshing Muscat. There is also a surprisingly complex wood-aged Pinot Noir. The same family also owns René Muré, the brand for the négociant side of the business, which buys in grapes to make wines that can be drunk young.

Domaine Marcel Deiss - Haut-Rhin

location: 15 rte du vin, Bergheim
telephone number: 03 89 73 63 37
wine styles: white
best vintages: 2001, 2000, 1994
recommended wines: Grand Cru Altenberg de Bergheim, Grand Cru Schoenenbourg, Grand Cru Mambourg

Terroir is everything to Jean-Michel Deiss. So strong is his belief in the vineyard that he goes against all the traditions of Alsace and labels his wine with the vineyard name rather than the grape variety. His wines have not only great balance and finesse, but also great concentration. Rieslings from grands crus Altenberg de Bergheim and Schoenenbourg are stunners; while the wines from grand cru Mambourg are hugely rich, and also hugely expensive.

Domaines Schlumberger - Haut-Rhin

location: 100 rue Théodore-Deck, Guebwiller
telephone number: 03 89 74 27 00
wine styles: white
best vintages: 2000, 1996
recommended wines: Riesling Grand Cru Saering, Riesling Grand Cru Kitterlé, Gewürztraminer Grand Cru Kitterlé

With 140 ha of vines, Schlumberger is by far the largest producer in Alsace: its vineyards dominate the industrial town of Guebwiller. Nicolas Schlumberger assembled the estate’s land in the 19th century, from what are now the grands crus Saering, Kessler, Kitterlé, and Spiegel, as well as sites such as Heissenstein and Schimberg. The domaine’s most famous wine is Cuvée Christine—a Gewürztraminer vendange tardive that combines richness and power without ever becoming over-luscious, and can be kept for 10 years or more. Les Princes Abbés is a range of 10 wines: nine varietals and one blend, for early drinking.

Domaine Weinbach - Haut-Rhin

location: Clos des Capucins, 25 rte du vin, Kientzheim
telephone number: 03 89 47 13 21
wine styles: white
best vintages: 2001, 1998, 1990
recommended wines: Riesling Grand Cru Schlossberg, Riesling Réserve, Pinot Gris Cuvée Laurence

Marked out since AD 890 by the monks of Etival Abbey, the vineyard of Clos des Capucins is now the preserve of Colette Faller and her daughters, Laurence and Catherine. Their wines are among Alsace’s best: pure and balanced, with a light touch of sweetness. Some say Laurence is one of the finest white winemakers in the world. Her crowning glory is the complex, concentrated, and racy Riesling grand cru Schlossberg, made from grapes grown on the dramatic slopes around the town of Kaysersberg.

Domaine Zind-Humbrecht - Haut-Rhin

location: 4 rte de Colmar, Turckheim
telephone number: 03 89 27 02 05
winery open to public: by appt
wine styles: white
best vintages: 2001, 1998, 1994
recommended wines: Gewürztraminer Grand Cru Hengst, Vendange Tardive Pinot Gris Clos Windsbuhl, Muscat Herrenweg de Turckheim

Formerly a scientist and engineer, Olivier Humbrecht was the first in France to gain the coveted Master of Wine title. He is now leading the charge into biodynamic techniques in Alsatian vineyards, mirroring those used in Burgundy. He works some of the finest vineyards in the region, a collection that his father, Léonard, built up over many years. The wines are outstanding. The most basic are full and dry, and his finest is the very rich and sumptuous vendange tardive from Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer.

Hugel & Fils - Haut-Rhin

location: 3 rue de la première armée, Riquewihr
telephone number: 03 89 47 92 15
wine styles: white
best vintages: 2001, 2000, 1998
recommended wines: Riesling Cuvée Jubilee, Gewürztraminer Sélection de Grains Nobles, Tokay Pinot Gris Vendange Tardive

Jean “Johnny” Hugel was, for many years, the public face of Alsace around the world. Now his sons Marc and Étienne, the 13th generation, have taken over the family firm, which dates back to 1639. Their classy and elegant wines remain benchmarks for Alsace wine lovers. Hugel excels at the late harvest wines, vendange tardive and sélection de grains nobles. One of the first to deliver these rich harvest styles, it remains one of the best. Gentil, which combines Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Muscat, and Silvaner, is a great aromatic blend.

Léon Beyer - Haut-Rhin

location: 2 rue de la première armée, Eguisheim
telephone number: 03 89 21 62 30
wine styles: white
best vintages: 2000, 1990
recommended wines: Riesling Les Écaillers, Riesling Comtes d’Eguisheim, Gewürztraminer Comtes d’Eguisheim

Beyer vineyards first appeared in 1580, the firm in 1867, and the family tradition of making dry, “food-friendly” wines for top-range restaurants continues today. Marc Beyer and his son, Léon, now run this operation. The hallmark brand is Comtes d’Eguisheim, which is made only in the very best years. The Beyers’ 20 ha include grand cru vineyards in Eichberg and Pfersigberg. However, they see no need to advertise the grand cru status, believing their own name is what counts. They also buy in grapes for their less expensive wines.

Maison Trimbach - Haut-Rhin

location: 15 rte de Bergheim, Ribeauvillé
telephone number: 03 89 73 60 30
wine styles: white
best vintages: 2001, 2000, 1998
recommended wines: Riesling Clos Ste-Hune, Gewürztraminer Seigneurs de Ribeaupierre, Pinot Gris Réserve

For fresh, racy, vibrant, and graceful Riesling, Trimbach is the name to look for. Riesling Clos Ste-Hune, from a tiny 1.3-ha vineyard, is arguably the finest Riesling in the world. Just 9,000 bottles are produced each year. It has perfume, steeliness, purity of fruit, and true elegance, and should be aged for at least five years. The Riesling Cuvée Frédéric-Émile is almost as high in quality. The standard continues right through the million-bottle range of Trimbach wines, many of which can be found in restaurants all over the world.

Perfect case: Alsace

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon