JF Becker 2001 Riesling Kronenbourg (Alsace) – Flawlessly structured and perfectly evocative of site, showing fresh white flowers and crushed seashells around a generous core of fleshy malic acid. All the components are here for an excellent ager.
The terroir signature of this wine very strongly suggests the grand cru Schoenenbourg, though with a more piercing quality than that occasionally fluffy vineyard produces; it’s marl to the Schoenenbourg’s siliceous soil (albeit over marl). This commonality isn’t a surprise, as the Kronenbourg is contiguous with the Schoenenbourg, wrapping around the hillside vineyard fronting the pretty road from Riquewihr to Zellenberg with a generally southeast-facing aspect. In fact, one of the prettier vineyard walks (or drives, if you’ve got the nerve) in this area of the Alsace vignoble is to pass around Riquewihr and up the hill, turning right just before you enter the more severe slopes and following the narrow path until it emerges right in the middle of the Schoenenbourg. From here, you’ve a view southward that provides that classic “islands of civilization in a sea of vines” look so indicative of Alsace; and, of course, there are few towns to compare to Riquewihr. Continue on this road, which turns as it enters the Kronenbourg, until you’re overlooking Zellenberg and the flat Rhine plain, then take the right turn and descend to the main road. It’s simply beautiful. Alcohol: 13%. Organic. Importer: Ideal.