Schoech to the system

Schoech 2009 Pinot Auxerrois “Vieille Vigne” (Alsace) – I’m surprised that the “pinot auxerrois” designation is still allowed…it’s just auxerrois…but that’s not the biggest surprise here. In Alsace, auxerrois is usually one of two things: a fattening agent “hidden” as a major blending partner in wines labeled as pinot blanc, and a spicy, ripe stepping stone between those pinot blancs and an even fatter, spicier pinot gris.

But these grapes have been picked before they turn to candy, and the result is not only a refreshing absence of residual sugar, but the ripe-fleshed spices being dialed back to something much more herbal. Think dried herbs, probably, but herbs nonetheless. A little fir, perhaps. There’s not a whole lot of crispness, but there’s enough. (1/12)

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