2016 Alsace Offer The Empire Strikes Back

The resultant wines are more elegant and classic in profile than the richer 2015s. JANCIS ROBINSON MW

Why the Empire Strikes back? Well because I love Star Wars, but mostly because over the last ten-fifteen years we have seen the rise and rise of both quality and popularity of the German whites but for some baffling reason Alsace has not made its way in to the limelight as much. Certainly, this has nothing to do with the quality as I would argue the renaissance of Alsace has been at least the equal to that of their cousins in the Mosel, Pfalz, Rheinhessen and Rheingau. Along with a new drive towards quality the region has seen its fair share of cult figures rise to prominence with the likes of Oliver Zind-Humbrecht, Weinbach’s Faller family & Marcel Deiss (to name a few) and they have paved the way for young producers to make their mark and push the envelope towards greater and more exciting wines like those of Deiss’s own son Matthieu who has begun his own estate called Le Vignoble du Reveur, or the young Thierry who has taken over Kientzler and breathed new life in to this domaine, producing more thrilling and terroir specific wines that ever before.

There are others too, those who have been working tirelessly in their families domaines for many years to craft traditional Alsatian wines of the highest quality from only the greatest plots, names like Trimbach, Hugel and of course the great wines of Paul Blanck spring straight to mind. These are the custodians of a tradition with very deep roots and a long history of producing exemplary wines.

Alsace is uniquely blessed to have such an incredibly diverse and complex array of soils and micro climates, sheltered by the Vosges Mountains, ample sunshine, great exposures and fantastic vineyards, Alsace is one of the truly great wine regions of the world and the wines are unique and special as any others capable of greatness in the bottle as well as being, with their texture and freshness, ideally suited to the table. 2016 happens to be, as with the major regions of Germany, one of the best vintages in quite some years.

Now is the time for this Empire to Strike Back and claim its rightful place on world stage.

As is often the case with these current releases many have not yet been reviewed but this is a collection of some of the pinnacle producers in the region from one of the benchmark vintages in some time. It is basically as safe a bet as any you could make that everything here will be fantastic. But if you don’t want to take my word for it they are on tasting this weekend at Essendon so come on down and see for yourself why we at PWS are so excited about this line up.

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