Gresser 2007 Pinot Blanc Kritt (France) – Fine-grained. Kritt wines tend to sort of suggest rather than define minerality, and while this is easy to discern in riesling from the site, it’s less immediately apparent in other grapes. Here, it’s a blended element, along with chilly, fresh-from-the-refrigerator apricot and nectarine, some grapefruit, and a surprisingly firm texture. This has been a house on the rise for a while, and the quality at this level is quite high for the price. (1/10)
Gresser 2002 Pinot Gris Brandhof “Vieilles Vignes” (Alsace) – Showing red-fruited (which pinot gris can often do), with strawberry and a blend of red, Rainier, and maraschino cherries, plus peach and tangerine. The fruit is fresh and vivid, and the wine is supported by a solid foundation of granite and marble. A medium-length, almost feathery finish brings out hints of fennel frond. This is a nice wine with good aging potential, but I suspect more could be wrested from these grapes. (3/06)
Gresser 1998 Gewurztraminer Andlau “Sélection des Grains Nobles” (Alsace) – Creamed cashew and rose jam dusted with white pepper, the latter of which defines the initial texture of the wine. Dense, rich and spice-laden, with flakes of steel throughout. This is a terrific, balanced wine of intensity but also – and more importantly – of style. The finish is incredibly long, as it should be. Brilliant.
Gresser 2000 Riesling Mœnchberg “Sélection des Grains Nobles” (Alsace) – Racy ripe apple of shocking density, very sweet (120g residual sugar), but with acidity of a density more than matching the sugar. There’s an apple cider quality to the acidity that grows on the long finish, during which are also introduced elements of lemongrass, Makrut lime, and a shower of iron flakes. Magisterial.
Gresser 1997 Gewurztraminer Mœnchberg “Vendanges Tardives” (Alsace) – Prickly petroleum-spiked juice, with a decidedly different mélange of papaya, tamarind and quince. Perhaps some strawberry as well. I’ve never tasted anything like it. Structurally, it’s long and acidic, and this – perhaps predictably – is done more in the true late-harvest (rather than simply sweet) style that used to be the norm in Alsace, though it does carry 30 grams of residual sugar. A bracing, almost shocking version of this most ubiquitous of Alsatian late-harvest wines.
Gresser 2004 Gewurztraminer Kritt (Alsace) – From graves soil. Crisp lychee and cashew oil with fresh rose petals floating about. The finish is slightly charred, with some alcohol apparent.
Andlau, I love you, won’t you tell me your name?
Gresser 2001 Gewurztraminer Andlau (Alsace) – Spicy and lurid, with lychee (more skin than fruit) lending a drying finish. This, like the 2003 riesling, represents a classic, older style of the grape that is harder and harder to find in these sugar-hunting times. It’s not a great gewurztraminer by any means, but it is a perfectly typical one, and the sort of amenable wine one wants at table.
Not Hassel, but Brand
Gresser 2004 Pinot Gris Brandhof (Alsace) – Pear skin and juice from ripe examples of the fruit, with a long, solid core of iron and steel around which runs a steady but thin stream of lemon and grapefruit. Incredibly long-finishing and crisp. I’ve not encountered a pinot gris of this structure and form in quite some time. It’s decidedly different, especially now, but I love it.
Gresser 2002 Pinot Gris Brandhof “Vieilles Vignes” (Alsace) – The old vines, in this case, are around 45 years of age. Fatter than the previous wine, though by no means blowsy, with spiced pear and intense, ripe red apple, strawberry and red cherry. Normally, I associate those sorts of red fruit characteristics with very high-quality pinot gris, but in this case the finish is shorter than I’d like, and the acidity not quite what I’d want either. Still, it’s a very good wine; I’m simply hoping for more from this vintage and these vines.
Hey, hey, we’re the…
Gresser 1985 Riesling Mœnchberg (Alsace) – Rémy serves this blind and makes me guess the year. I don’t recall my specific guess, but it’s somewhere in the early nineties. Not only am I more than a half-decade off, the wine has already been open for two days (at cellar temperature). It’s striking still, showing pine flowers and cedar, plus an intense forepalate that gently softens into a lingering finish full of gritty minerality. Still, drink it if you’ve got it.
Gresser 2004 Muscat Brandhof (Alsace) – From calcaire. Crisp, with apple blossoms and a vivid acidity throughout. This builds on the palate, showing more Alsace than muscat over its length.