Browse Tag


Grey villé

Trimbach 2002 Pinot Gris “Réserve” Ribeauvillé (Alsace) – Rich spiced pear, almost verging on oily, but with enough backpalate crispness to retain balance. There’s also the typical blackened quartz underbelly…a strange descriptor, I know…which sets this far apart from other pinot gris at its price point. This is a highly reliable wine (except in freak years like 2003), but 2002 verges on exceptional. (8/07)

Spiced Bs

[herrenweg de turckheim]Barmès Buecher 2004 Gewurztraminer Herrenweg de Turckheim (Alsace) – As with the rieslings from this site, Herrenweg gewürztraminer has a persistent problem with structure: it’s usually absent. Worse, the grape’s development is far too often stunted somewhere in the light peach and cashew range, leaving off all the exotic, developed aromas that give the grape its necessary character. Not here. This is a frankly brilliant wine, with intense, burnt-pork spice and blackened, almost Cajun-spiced minerality balanced by fiery acidity and only a very minor dollop of residual sugar (which, given the wine’s other qualities, I may even be mis-identifying). As hard as it is to imagine from this site, this wine has to be ageable. But even if it’s not, the pleasure of current consumption is plentiful. (9/07)


[rosenberg de wettolsheim]Barmès Buecher 2002 Pinot Gris Rosenberg de Wettolsheim “Silicis” (Alsace) – Brilliant, showing far more shattered crystalline minerality than the spicy pear fruit that is this variety’s regional signature, with a long finish and only the mildest dollop of appealing sweetness. Highly-structured, and – unlike many pinot gris – likely to develop, rather than simply last and then fade, with bottle age. Just terrific. (9/07)

Hair N. Wegg

[herrenweg de turckheim]Barmès Buecher 2004 Riesling Herrenweg de Turckheim (Alsace) – The Herrenweg de Turckheim isn’t my favorite site, especially for riesling, because the wines from there are far too often wishy-washy, lacking the nerve and precision that make riesling distinctive. There’s a soft, floral aspect to the wines that, typically, falls flat in the glass, or even under the influence of a stern gaze. Kudos to Barmès Buecher, then, for marrying the expected aromatics to a firmer structure than is typical. It’s not so much crisp or brittle as it is sandpapery, and so, texturally, this is somewhat unusual, but it may be the best possible mitigation of this site’s natural tendencies. Also of note: the wine is markedly dry, so those used to a dollop of sugar (or its more abrasive cousin, ponderous alcohol) may want to keep that in mind. (9/07)

BB blanc

[rosenberg de wettolsheim]Barmès Buecher 2002 Pinot Blanc Rosenberg de Wettolsheim (Alsace) – Structured and surprisingly intense for pinot blanc, especially as it lacks the telltale thick spice of auxerrois adulteration (whether or not it actually has auxerrois in the blend, as most Alsatian pinot blancs do, I can’t say for sure). Leafy stone fruit and firm acidity form the core of this wine, with only a mildly-softening wrapping of fruit. Nice, and likely ageable. (9/07)

KB joys

[label]Kuentz-Bas 2004 Alsace (Alsace) – Neither lush and spicy nor overly austere, this blend rides the fine line between flavor and nervosity, and rides it well. Melon and dried lime vie with a light minerality and firm acidity for supremacy, but mostly this wine is about its fine structure. Drink it soonish. (8/07)

Kuentz-Bas 2004 Alsace (Alsace) – Simple spiced pear, apple and very mild rock undertones. Exceedingly pleasant, which of course is all this wine tries to be. (7/07)

Sparring partner

[vineyard]Sparr 2002 “One” (Alsace) – As usual, a sort of summary of Alsatian organoleptics: spice, pear, minerality and ripe apple, with a bit of crispness and a faint, drinkable sweetness. Nice. (8/07)