Browse Tag


Not a hot rock

Josmeyer 2005 Riesling “Les Pierrets” (Alsace) – Bright. I don’t mean this in the usual sense, in which a preference towards acid and shinier fruit is suggested, but that there’s something that reminds me of actual luminescence in this wine. Everything one wants from an Alsatian riesling, dialed back a little bit for earlier approachability. Very nice. (11/10)

A Barmès day

Barmès Buecher Crémant d’Alsace Brut (Alsace) – Restrained, salty, tonic-like. Very, very clean, hinting at bitter citrus but delivering only a fraction of what it suggests it might. Nice. (11/10)

02 arena

Trimbach 2002 Riesling (Alsace) – Doing way better than the 2001 regular, which is a little surprising, but perhaps bodes well for the domaine wines from this vintage, which were not as trifurcated as they were in 2001. Metal, melting and molten, over coal, lead, and a chilly magma core. In other words, the usual mineral-fest. Quite appealing, but I wouldn’t hold it longer than the days necessary to drink what’s left. (10/10)

Trimbach 2002 Riesling (Alsace) – Not as intact as my previous bottle, and I’m quite happy to be near the end of what was once a considerable stash. Very acidic, and while there’s molten steel, there has been considerable erosion thereof, leading to a core that’s mostly just puckering. (11/10)

Owl service

Zind-Humbrecht 2001 Riesling Herrenweg de Turckheim (Alsace) – Somewhere in here, there’s a finely-poised, iron-rich, balanced expression of riesling. Unfortunately, it’s layered in lush coverlets of velour and gravity. Not, as ZH’s wines go, at all bad. Quite nice, actually. But way too heavy for its inherent presence. (10/10)


Trimbach 2001 Riesling “Réserve” (Alsace) – Vibrant, striking, and à point. Steel and iron driven into a spike, then speared through metal-jacketed apples. Mineralistic, austere, and wonderful. Such a difference when Trimbach controls the grapes, vs. the regular yellow label. Mature, but there’s no particular hurry, and a fantastic preview of what’s going to be (actually, already is) unbelievable quality from the top 2001 rieslings at Trimbach. (10/10)

Trimbach 2001 Riesling (Alsace) – Very tenuous, barely clinging to a flaky, eroded metallic life. Drink up by the end of 2007. (Oops!) (10/10)

Miner girls

Trimbach 2001 Gewurztraminer (Alsace) – Dying. I’ve heard fond words about a recently-consumed early-eighties version, but this is on its last amputated leg. (10/10)

Bollen alley

Albrecht 1998 Gewurztraminer Bollenberg (Alsace) – Drying, strappy, and tannic. All things a gewurztraminer can be when it ages, and whether they’re positive or negative depends on the rest. Which, here, is a kinky mélange of spiced banana skin, fuzzy peach, and copper bullets racing down a wind tunnel. Texturally inimitable, in a way, for true skin-contact whites are way more palpable than this, while most everything else would rely more on acid (or its lack) for structure. I kinda love it, but it’s a complicated love. (9/10)

The knife

Sipp Mack 2007 Riesling “Vieilles Vignes” (Alsace) – Juicy. There’s a certain softness to this bottling that carries though vintages, but the modulating acidity is almost always just enough to keep it fresh. This is young enough that its minerality, bare-boned and stark, still lies beneath primary layers of ground cover. Give it some time in the cellar; a few years, maybe. (9/10)

One Sipp at a time

Sipp Mack 2004 Riesling “Vieilles Vignes” (Alsace) – Soft minerality, just barely enough acidity to compensate, and a wide, planar texture. Quite fair. (9/10)

Amber, gris

Trimbach 2004 Ribeauvillé Pinot Gris “Réserve” (Alsace) – The non-prestige bottlings from Trimbach in 2004 have been uniformly excellent, for whatever reason, and this is no exception. When this wine is on, there’s a beautiful poise between the rounded pear fruit, dark iron-quartz minerality, spice, and acidity that’s still not “crisp,” exactly, but is more than sufficient to carry the rest of the package. Really nice, and showing absolutely no change from a year ago. Holding it might prove rewarding, but I guess we’ll see. (9/10)

Trimbach 2005 Ribeauvillé Pinot Gris “Réserve” (Alsace) – Big. All the expected elements are there, but the wine just can’t quite support its own weight. Finishes a little hot. There’s so much stuff here that I’d be tempted to recommend the calming effects of age, but I just don’t know about the sheer leadenness of the wine. (9/10)