Browse Tag


Angrier than a Rosacker of cats

Mallo 2002 Riesling Rosacker (Alsace) – Salted rocks, banana leaves, and aggressive minerality pushed to the side by over-softening, wimpy residual sugar. The salinity is strident, and there are darker, smokier elements within, but why must such nice raw materials be rendered so spineless? This is at worst a very good, and at best an unparalleled, terroir. Mallo’s house style is soft and sweet, to be sure, but it serves this wine – which could have been great, but instead is merely good – very, very poorly. (5/10)

No harshing

Mallo 2005 Sylvaner (Alsace) – This has gotten rather dramatically better over the last year, veering from a vegetal, tomato-dominated stage (with an unfortunate layer of residual sugar) into something much more linear. Sylvaner is one of a small host of non-prestige Alsatian grapes that riesling-ifies as it ages, and that’s what appears to have happened here. Melon rind, verbena, fresh snow, and fair acidity…at least, enough to cover the lingering mildness lent by sugar…with a refreshing aspect the wine did not previously possess. I don’t think this will last forever, or even very tiny subsets of forever, so I’d suggest drinking it now, while it’s in an interesting stage. (2/10)

Mallo yellow

Mallo 2002 Riesling Rosacker (Alsace) – The minerality of the vineyard, reminiscent of the sea yet crystalline and vibrant, is fully present. There’s fine acidity and good length. I just wish there was the will to push the boundaries a bit…a little more intensity in the vineyard, a little less happified sweetness in the finished product. An underachievement, albeit a tasty one. (7/09)

Mallo yellow

Mallo 2002 Riesling Rosacker (Alsace) – Rocks with a heavy dose of salt. Intense and powerful. The thin layer of sweetness doesn’t detract, exactly, but it’s not really necessary either, and the wine would be better without it. Doesn’t approach the complexity of more famous Rosackers, but it does show the characteristics of the vineyard, and that’s something. (8/08)


Mallo 2005 Gewurztraminer “Cuvée Saint-Jacques” (Alsace) – A surprisingly solid effort from this often-underperforming producer, with spicy intensity supported by a strewn handful of rocks; the zing helps support a structure which clings just enough to the exterior of this wine. Nicely-turned. (6/08)

Drunken stork

Mallo 2004 “Special Delivery” Pinot Blanc (Alsace) – Clean, water-washed stone fruit leaning on the lighter, crisper side of things, with a bit of citrus and a light tarragon note, but with weight and spice coalescing in the denouement. Tasty. Not complex, but quite enjoyable. (6/08)

Mallo out

Frédéric Mallo 2005 Sylvaner (Alsace) – Quite vegetal, which might not be bad in a sylvaner, but with competing edgy and softened aspects that detract from the wine. It can’t seem to figure out what it wants to be, but I suspect where it came from is underripe fruit. This might be appealing with tomato salad, but otherwise… (2/08)