Cathy, sainted & grey

[grapes]Faller “Domaine Weinbach” 1999 Pinot Gris “Cuvée Ste-Catherine” (Alsace) – From a difficult vintage known for deficient acidity, a grape not exactly known for crispness, and a house inclined towards late-hanging fruit (albeit rarely with an absence of acidity). Plus, ten years old. In other words, there’s every reason to suspect this wine is going to disappoint, and do so in a predictable fashion. Well, strike one for the defiance possible with enough conviction, because this is really, really good. Spiced pear lingers, in a more blended form than in the wine’s youth, but fine, unpolished-metal minerality has emerged to take point, and the light sweetness and pretty acidity are in perfect balance. Long and very good, but most of all: surprising. (8/09)

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