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Country: France Region: Alsace
Varietal: Pinot Gris
Vintage: 2016 Colour: White Style: Dry
Producer: Cave du Pfaffenheim
Founded in 1957, the cellar of Pfaffenheim merged with that of the neighboring village, Gueberschwihr, in the late 1960s. It now supplies itself with some 230 cooperators spread over 270 hectares; the soils are predominantly limestone and clay-limestone. Originally hand-harvested and vinified terroir by terroir, the wines of this cellar are loyal and technically well mastered, but we note in recent years that their definition remains very simple. Modern wines, but struggling to assert their terroir. Even Grands Crus do not reach the best expression possible.
The wines: the pinot blanc is sincere, in a style not complex but refreshing. On rieslings, the Hatschburg soil is ample, but the average balance. We prefer the finesse and palatability of the Goldert, with a pretty persistence. The Zinnkoepflé is more generous, with good bitters on the finish. The 2008 Black Tie, large and tight at the same time, deploys a beautiful energy. The Steinert pinot gris is powerful but a little seated on sugars. The gewurztraminers are fond of the quality of the vintage, but we are a little disappointed by the mouth textures. The harmony of the Steingold leaves something to be desired, the great wines lack a little finesse, especially on the end of the mouth. If the Ancestrum vintage has a beautiful maturity, the style is a little pasty. Our preference is Steinert and its management of maturity and sweetness.
The nose is very vibrant too, featuring aromas of lemon like the color suggested. There is a clear cheesy side to the aromatic profile, surprisingly!
But don’t get me wrong. Not the negative cheesy smell. More like an enjoyable one in fact. The wine somewhat smells like parmesan, or more precisely like Grand Padano in the sense that it smells like floral milk, aromas of fine cream mixed with notes of meadow flowers. Add hints of apricot and delicate fresh pineapple to get the full picture of an intriguing and tempting nose.
Put the wine in your mouth though, and it all starts to make more sense. The off-dry sweetness surprises slightly at first if you expected a completely dry wine. It is matched and neutralised by a vibrant mineral acidity though, making the wine taste crisp and refreshing, and nearly dry overall.
Food Matches: Spicy Fish Cakes, Salmon, Paté