My final stop on my holiday road trip was at Kientzheim just outside Colmar, an area I know reasonably well and used this time as a break from the drive north and home, so just three nights two days and a severe restriction imposed on winery visits !
As good a reason for the stop as any aside from the stunning landscape backed by the Vosges mountains was to pick up some Pinot Gris, unlike its popular counterpart Pinot Grigio it is underappreciated as a wine which is a pity for it is good on its own and very good with food plus the quality is on another level compared with the Grigio version.
As an example of its current lack of appreciation the WS only has two versions for sale amongst the Rieslings and the Gewurtztramminers.
I was originnaly going to call in on Leon Beyer but Eguisheim was of limits “as we always go there” so I first pulled a sneaky before arriving at our destination and called at Albert Mann whos winery is at the southern end of the Alsace Grand Cru area, it’s a long time since I have drunk any of Manns wines as they have become difficult to find in the UK despite being available some years back.
There were two Grand Cru PGs for tasting the Hengst and the Furstentum, every major producer seems to have a piece of the Hengst vineyard rather like the Himmelreich and others in Germany.
Both were an intense golden yellow with green tints and both had the fruits of peach apricot to the fore, I thought the Hengst was slighly drier despite being fuller and prefered it over the Furstentum by a small amount time may prove me wrong but that was the one I purchased.
The following day I was allowed a morning to try two other wineries first Schlumberger
were all three Grand Cru PGs were tasted plus their Princes Abbes, the Kitterle stood out but was in that range where you think you will only really enjoy a glass rather than the bottle so the Spiegel was purchased a much more food friendly wine and not as full on with the fruit and drier.
Whilst there I also purchased a single bottle of the PG Vendange Tardives, already aged as it was a 2010, lovely wine mellow golden all the tropical fruits dry, wonderful wine to have with strong cheese or fruit desserts or to sip on its own.
I also whilst there tasted a number of the Rieslings, all were good but I have always preffered the Rieslings on the other side of the Rhine so no buy for me but no one would be disappointed, very nice people here.
After that a quick dash to Trimbach
Nice set up at Ribeauville, this was probably a mistake as a choice but it was nearby and I had to fit it in, the reason I say that is not because of the quality of their wines but the fact their PG selection is limited compared with other wineries and none at Grand Cru level so I tasted and left barren.
Fortunately a trip to the supermarket was demanded for “essentials” the following day and they had at a good price some very good PGs and I got a couple of bottles of Schoffit GC Rangen and ditto two bottles of Gustave Lorentz 's GC PG both were 2015s so I was not going home without but obviously I didn’t taste them.
Amazingly the hotel we stayed at, which had a first class restaurant also had a wine list composed entirely of its own wines including all the late picked versions and Pinot Noir, I can’t say I had a bad wine on the three occasions we dined there and all were available to take away at very reasonable prices, but I was not allowed any more.
But why is it that PG is so undervalued, it has all the qualities from fruity to dry from soft to intense and is such a good food wine.
I have tried the new world versions of the grape but again they are quite different and lack the nuances and sublety of the Alsace versions.