Melanie Pfister "Rendez-vous en Blanc"

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Grapes: Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, + 6% or so of Gewurztraminer

Region: (declassified) Alsace, France

Vintage: 2021

Viticulture: Organic

Soils: Limestone + Loess

Vinification: Stainless steel

Aging: 18 months on lees in steel tanks before blending and bottling

Fining or Filtering: None

Sulfur: Minimal added

Notes from the Importer: Domaine Pfister began life in 1780 during our Revolutionary War. That seems a long time ago, until you learn that Pfister’s village of Dahlenheim was favorably noted for wine production in the distant year of 884. A written record has survived, detailing how the village supplied wine to the Abbey of Saint Michel de Honan during that era. Dahlenheim was an important center of wine production throughout the Middle Ages as well. It’s located due west of Strasbourg in the northern reaches of the Bas Rhin (legally, the Bas Rhin is a separate department from the Haut Rhin, and means, simply, lower down the Rhine River—keeping in mind that the Rhine flows north to the Baltic).

This is Riesling country. Up here the Vosges Mountains are not nearly so toweringly majestic, nor, correspondingly, so protective. Dahlenheim itself is nestled in the flank of the great Engelberg hill, due west of Strasbourg, and has no vines on the Rhine plain. Its vineyards are not as shielded from cold weather as further south in the Haut Rhin, and this cooler climate, along with the abundance of hillsides and of limestone and less sandy soils, favors Riesling and makes for particularly elegant, mineral renditions of the wine. Mélanie Pfister makes two Rieslings, both entirely dry. Berg, the first, comes from the limestone hillside adjacent to Engelberg, making for a wine that is tantalizingly full, rich, and piercing in its drive. The other one is from the grand cru of Engelberg, a wine whose endless fields of white flowers and orchard fruits, to say nothing of its electric minerality, makes you sit up straight.

Lovely bouquet of stone fruit and citrus mingled with delicate floral notes. The palate is bright yet layered, with mouthwatering acid and flavors of ripe nectarine, Bartlett pear, and peach pit, with a swath of chalky minerals on the long, elegant finish

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