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Trip to Alsace


#41

We visited Rolly Gassmann’s new premises today, and they are about as different from the old premises as it’s possible to imagine!


There’s an absolutely enormous tasting area, a children’s area, several tables set up for group tastings, a balcony, fabulous views across the vineyards, and a collection of rocks and fossils that Mrs Robertd remarked puts the Sedgwick Earth Sciences museum in Cambridge to shame.

Tasting was as generous as ever; we were served by a (very friendly) young lady whom we hadn’t seen before, and were able to pick and choose what we wanted, so didn’t taste too much this time. Wines have not changed at all! You’ll have a great time, @pred02!


Weekend drinking thread [25th-27th October 2019]
#42


Book me in!!!


#43

I was thinking exactly the same thing :star_struck:


#44

@leah, @brocklehurstj - there are even stone dinosaurs (and yes, I know that a rhino isn’t a dinosaur…)


#45

No Madame Gassmann? If not there in person, she deserves a statue, sitting on a chair in the corner supervising proceedings.


#46

No Mme Gassmann, and no Pierre yesterday. And the desk calculator has been replaced by a computer :open_mouth:


#47

Thanks. Really looking forward to the trip. The reversed order for Saturday

  1. Pierre Frick - he is an organic wine grower met at the Natural wine fair in London in May. Has minimal intervention wines

  2. Bruno Sorg

Lunch at Eguisheim

  1. Emilie Beyer or Josmeyer - not sure which one to pick here, Emilie is in Eguisheim so we can go after lunch so it’s convenient. Josmeyer was recommended but seems wines are at higher price point.

4 Finishing with Rolly Glossman -:slight_smile: best for last

Still need to finalise the Sunday roster.


#48

Josmeyer make better wines, that should be your criteria!


#49

Bold statement, @AnaGramWords! Have you tried Emile Beyer’s wines? I haven’t, so can’t make the comparison. Josmeyer are very good, but I have seen Emile Beyer’s wine on Michelin starred restaurant lists, so they can’t be bad. We used to go to Josmeyer a lot, but felt that their prices went up to the point where others offered better value. I suspect you are right that their wines are better, though.


#50

We will check it out and a decision but value is what we are after. Any good places in Ribeauvillé or Riquewihr to get flambee for lunch on Sunday?

Thanks


#51

We often eat tarte flambée at “Au Passage de la Tour” in Ribeauvillé. It’s at the right hand side of the Tour des Bouchers as you head up the village, just past the Mairie. Our children like to stuff themselves with the ham hocks at La Flammerie as you enter the village. But you will be waddling down the street afterwards.


#52

We had nice lunch at the Restaurant-Pizzéria Du Vignoble (3 Rue Latéral) in Riquewihr. Cosy, not too fussy and really good tart flambée. La Grappe d’Or is also lovely and very Alsatian. Then again, virtually everything feels ‘very Alsatian’ in Riquewihr! :smiley:

http://www.restaurant-grappedor.com


#53

This is perfect - thank you. For Sunday we have these on the roster, but will probably be able to do only 3 instead of 4:

Cave de Ribeuville
Louis Sipp
Hugel
Ernest Burn

Which 3 out of the 4 would you recommend?

Thanks,


#54

As always, the answer is “it depends” !

  • Cave de Ribeauvillé - I’ve never visited, but have had the odd wine. Solid coop, won’t be anything spectacular, will be the cheapest.
  • Louis Sipp - very well made wines from a good range of terroirs and a couple of Grands Crus, from which they always have a range of vintages, which is a rare opportunity for a vertical tasting.
  • Hugel - high quality, and right in the centre of the impossibly picturesque Riquewihr. They literally wrote the rules on late harvest wines. Will be the most expensive. You are most likely to be able to buy their wines in the UK, which could be seen as positive or negative - if you like a wine you’ll be able to obtain it here, vs the chance to taste something that’s only available on the spot.
  • Burn - unique wines, especially from the Clos St Imer which is entirely theirs. The Clos St Imer pinot gris is astonishing, and they are arguably the best value of the four in terms of price/quality.

Something else to consider is the geography of the four. The first three are all very close, while Burn is around a 30 minute drive away - but assuming you’re flying out on the Sunday night, it’s in the right direction. It would be worth making an appointment, as you wouldn’t want to drive down there and find that they happen not to have someone there on that day.

It’s also worth considering language - I don’t know whether you or any of your party speak French. Cave de Ribeauvillé are likely to have someone who speaks English; Martine and Etienne Sipp both do, but they don’t always serve so it would be a good idea to make an appointment (probably worth doing anyway, actually); Hugel will always have someone who does; at Burn they speak some English, but French is definitely better if possible.

Not definitive for you, but hopefully more information with which to make a decision!


#55

Might not be a dinosaur, but well in its way to extinction…


#56

Thank you. This is perfectly what we need. I think we will drop Hugel as we can get their wines in the UK.

For day 1, still trying to decide between Emilie Beyer, Josmeyer and Kuentz-Baz. I know you have not been to Emilie Beyer, but wanted to get your thoughts about the first wineries.


#57
  • Josmeyer - high quality and interesting wines: for example I’ve recently seen they are making a rosé sylvaner. They embraced biodynamic winemaking early, and are great proponents. As I said before, we used to be regular visitors, but their prices went up.
  • Kuentz-Bas - they have recently revamped their range with a new “Mosaik” label, and we haven’t visited since (not related). A very good source of pinot noir; though their whites are good, I’m personally not as taken by them as by the reds.

To be honest, in your situation, I’d go for Josmeyer over Kuentz-Bas. They are very good quality, and more distinctive.


#58

Hi,

Just returned from the great weekend in Alsace. First of all, thank you everyone for your recommendations especially Robert. We absolutely loved Alsace, it was more picturesque and well organised then some other regions we visted. The wineries are generous with number of wines offered and hospitality. Some notes from our trip:

  1. We first visited Pierre Frick - I know he’s relatively a new name on this forum, I first ran into him at a Natural Wine fair in London. If you like natural/maceration (almost orange), then Pierre Frick should be high on the list. Quite a character too, he is one of the first natural wine makers. Very dry style.

  2. Domaine Josmeyer - this was probably out least favourite, it was also the only winery that charged for the tastings. It is understandable as you can taste some of their very expensive top cru, but this is against 7 other wineries we visited.

  3. Bruno Sorg - was very nice especially their Gewurst, very easy to access in the very scenic Eigusheim

  4. Barmes Bucher - this was a late addition as we had some extra time. Fantastic pinor noir and Reisling and lovely host we came unannounced and she was able to fit us in. Best pinot of our trip. Jean Barmes Bucher does Cremant just a few houses over lovely man serving us with little knowledge of English but if you loke cremant defo a place to stop by.

  5. Rolly Gassman - I think their wines are porbably best quality vs. price ratio, if I had a car and there was one place to stock up this would be it! The new place is beautiful and huge, but as a result it had a lot more of a CoOp feel rather than family winery. It might have been that it was a last winery of the day and our palate was exhausted it is hard to taste all the wines. It was also packed with so hard to get individual attention despite trying to book in advance. Sweeter style wine.

Day 2:

  1. Louis Sipp - lovely family we quite enjoyed the extensive tasting and the company. I thought their cru Reseilings were fantastic as was the pinos gris. They will be at the wine society tasting tonight.

  2. Ernest Burn - Perhaps save the best for last, but the host were incredibly generous, it was the last stop on the way to the airport but we spent nearly 2 hours trying all their wines which - especially their Muscat - were divine! And the Reiseling, it had petrol smell but tasted like tukish delights, absolutely amazing complexity.

We havent had time to visit any CoOp to be fair also did not have any more lugagge space either.

A couple of other pointers:

  • we struggled to find any restaurants that will take us without a reservation, I understand this is a holiday in France but you need to book reservations for lunch dinner at least 2 weeks in advance
  • flying through Basel was easy only 40 min to Colmar
  • Colmar is actually busy this time of year, even more with Christmas markets so do book your visit in advance

Thanks all for your recommendations, I will probably go next year with my wife to the markets and go back to taste the wines.


#59

Thank you for this very useful summary,


#60

The co-op at Hunawihr is very good.