Empire Strikes Back 2016 Round 2

In contrast to the richer, rounder 2015’s, wines from a very warm, dry vintage, the wines of 2016 are mostly graceful and refined, as the grapes were picked at mostly moderate sugar levels, which translated into lower alcohol levels than usual. ANTONIO GALLONI, Vinous

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

The Empire Strikes Back Round Two, why that title you ask? Well, for me I always see Alsace as a formidable region that is generally overlooked by a lot of consumers these days and has sadly lost a lot of ground to their German Neighbours (let’s call them the Rebels for the purpose of this offer), also because I love Star Wars and thirdly because I did round one in February and now we have two more of the regions super stars available.

Certainly a lot of the limelight has been drawn away from them by the Rebels in the last decade or so. That is a shame, Alsace produces some of the world’s most distinctive aromatic white wines. The differences between what is made here and elsewhere is simply an expression of regionality, that tell tale texture and more upfront powerful fruit profiles that are the hallmarks of Alsatian wines are so markedly different to anything you will find elsewhere.

Similar to the twin sensational vintages in Germany 2015 and 2016 both produced a bevvy of sensational wines in Alsace. While 2015 certainly received more airtime initially I think a lot of producers and consumers would agree that 2016s (as a general rule) are far more inline with what we expect from a great vintage in these areas, more classic if you will. 2015s tended towards more flamboyance and hedonism, they are a remarkably showy bunch, while the 2016s impress me more for their poise, buoyancy, tension and most of all the crystal clear interpretation of their terroirs in the glass, there seems to a fairly direct soil to bottle transfer here.

I know that I beat the Alsace and German drum pretty hard but I genuinely believe these are some of the worlds most unique and special wines. This offer contains two of the best producers from Alsace, Albert Mann & Domaine Ostertag and all from the simply outstanding 2016 vintage. Both wineries offer very different interpretations of Alsace but both are equally deserving of your full attention. It is time for the Empire to Strike Back.