Marcel Deiss Village Wines Offer
‘…wine quality at Deiss is amongst the highest in all of Alsace. It’s truly a pleasure to listen to father and son banter on about wine.’ IAN D’AGATA, vinous.com
Mathieu Deiss is slightly changing the style of the wines his father Jean-Michel preferred. Mathieu favors a more pure, precise, fresh and subtle style combined with the terroir-driven deepness and expression consumers are expecting when they are buying a wine from Marcel Deiss. Although they are less rich and powerful today than a few years ago, Mathieu supposes they will age as well as the wines of his father, who is still the boss at the Domaine, but leaves the winemaking to his son. He prefers taking care of the vineyards. STEPHAN REINHARDT, wineadvocate.com
What is terroir? It is a matrix by which the possible can be uttered. History robbed us of our memory; it robbed us of our terroirs. We no longer knew what Ribeauville meant, or what Bergheim might say. We have to find out what is possible once more.’ MARCEL DEISS
In the world of wine trying to illuminate what’s in the bottle from a glance at the label is sometimes fraught with fear. Different countries, regions and sub-regions follow different rules. The slender green bottles from Alsace have diffused this confusion as they tend to bottle single varietals and fix a variety to the label. Whether navigating a wine list or picking a bottle from the shelf these have been reliable wine mates. Most Alsace winemakers follow these rules.
But what is life without non-conformers? Someone who relishes in breaking the rules backed with a headful of historical insights and an unwavering belief. Enter Marcel Deiss, aka Mr Terroir. Deiss believes that the terroir is best expressed by co-planting traditional Alsace varieties leading to a symphonic expression of the land rather than a monosyllabic tone. His wines are a glorious mix of grape varieties planted, harvested and fermented together.
Since the 90s Deiss has focused on biodynamics and field blends within his top sites. He still makes a few single-varietal wines but these are favoured for his wines sitting on less prestigious soils, that don’t have as much to say.
Alsace is blessed with one of the most complex geological make-ups within France. The tectonic plates have pushed up the Vosges mountains and created a checkerboard of wide-ranging soils including red sandstone with lots of iron and quartz, volcanic sediment and limestone. The Vosges also provide a rain shadow on the region creating dry conditions and the prolific adoption of organic and biodynamic viticulture. The bounty of ripe rich grapes filled with intensity and character is plentiful.
Focussed on expressing his kaleidoscopic treasure of soils, Michel has been joined by son Mathieu in recent years. Both strive for ripeness without the need for sugar. And while some of their wines may have in the past had a residual accent, current releases are savoury and saline, full of power and fineness. Mathieu has injected more tension and a steely framework into the wines.
Two new thrilling wines have joined their collection. You must try these. They’re expressions of the villages they come from; Ribeauville and Riquewhir. Both these villages sit midway along the Haut Rhine, surrounded by vineyards and mountains. These provoke and stimulate, packed with detail and nuance they reveal themselves and their land slowly in the glass. In their youth, you can taste the ripeness of the sites alongside an energetic zip of acidity. With age, their bellies will honey and they’ll gain a little girth. These are two outstanding wines that hit well above their price point.
Drink a bottle or two now and hide them away. In five years time they’ll evolve into absolute beauties. If you prize purity and aren’t afraid to follow your own path in life, these are for you. Share a bottle with like-minded friends – that’s one of the great things about wine, it brings us together. These are very limited, so choose your mates wisely.
We’ve sharpened the price on these if you’d like to buy them singly or in packs. But the best value lies in the Twin Village Bundle Dozen – over 25% off. You’ll get six each of the wines, making them $46 a bottle.