Feature

Alsace: War-torn wine

While many of the grapes in Alsace are German, Alsatian wineries do not use German methods of winemaking.

The turbulent history of Alsace, France, “has had a great influence” on the region’s wines, said Fred Tasker in The Miami Herald. Many of its grapes are German—“gewürztraminer and such”—but the region takes few cues from the nation that twice absorbed it during the past 150 years. While German methods result in wines that are light-bodied and “a bit sweet,” Alsatian wineries pick the grapes later, “ferment them drier,” and end up with “bigger” wines. Three Gustave Lorentz wines exemplify the results:

2007 Pinot Gris, ‘Schofweg Vineyard’ ($29). “Complex, with flavors of green apples, melons, and ginger.”

2004 Pinot Gris Grand Cru, Altenberg de Bergheim ($50). A dry wine, “hugely rich but not heavy.”

2009 Riesling Reserve ($24). A “classic Riesling,” laced with aromas of “lemon, green apples, and minerals.”

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