A valuable lesson

[label]Frick 2002 Pinot Blanc “Cuvée Précieuse” (Alsace) – Organic, biodynamic, no sulfur, from a hill above the Vorbourg. This has absolutely nothing to do with pinot blanc or Alsace (other than the fact that the words are on the label), and instead has everything to do with the sort of “forward-to-the-past” adventurism seen at, say, Radikon…among whose wines this would not seem even a little out of place. Rapidly darkening towards brass (though to be fair, that’s not an unusual thing to see in a five-year-old pinot blanc), heavy, and somewhat oxidized – again in the “good” way, though it strips any remaining varietal character from the wine – with a solid, thudding, and thundering assault of dried-out stone fruit and hollowed-out acacia logs. A really fascinating wine, though I’m very much at a loss as to whether I should credit the result or not. The first sips are immediately compelling to those familiar with this style (and, based on my dinner guests’ reactions, repellent to those who aren’t), but even to the enthusiastic the weight and ponderous hectoring of the wine eventually grow wearisome. (3/08)

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