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Home Winners > Winners 2018 > FRANCE: Alsace

Winner Details

FRANCE: Alsace

2018 Gold 3       Silver 2                 Bronze 0             Commended 5
2017 Gold 3       Silver 6                 Bronze 2             Commended 4 

Next time you meet an Alsace producer could you poke them with a large stick? This is one of the most frustrating sections of the whole competition. The region’s wines are reliant on on-trade sales, and somms generally like them in theory, while recognising that they can be a tough sell in practice for consumers, who generally don’t know much about them.

So surely a few medals and a bit of positive PR wouldn’t hurt? Sadly, to achieve that, the wines need to be entered in the first place – and this was the smallest number of Alsace wines for years.

Shame, because what we got was mostly good. The Saering Riesling is a beauty, and the sight of not one, but two Gewürz Golds was as rare as a coherent tweet from Donald Trump. But our tasters deserve more than this.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘Some winemakers were clearly trying to be more adventurous. You don’t expect off-dry styles from Alsace, and the ones that got medals were usually the ones that stuck to the basics.’ Timothy Connor, Core by Clare Smyth

‘In terms of variety, I think Alsace is underrated.’ Robert Mason, Cheese at Leadenhall

‘People are liking the lower-alcohol styles [of red wine], you can find something light but elegant, with fruit. But Pinot Noir from Alsace is up and down for the past few years – it’s difficult at the moment.’ Lionel Periner, team leader

Award winners

Found 10 wines

France: Alsace

Cave de Turckheim, Turckheim, Sables et Galets, Gewurztraminer 2015, Alsace, France

Gold medal winner

It wasn’t difficult to see how this Gewürztraminer picked up Gold, with what Richard Cavagin-Carey of The Harwood Arms described as ‘a slight richness on the palate, with acidity in place, and with a delicious tropical, lychee finish’. Team leader Laurent Richet MS was generous in praise of its ‘beautiful aromas and delicate, silky palate’, while Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club described ‘tropical aromas, with crisp mandarin zest and sweet guava’.

£10.35 Boutinot

Domaines Schlumberger, Riesling, Grand Cru Saering 2014, Alsace, France

Gold medal winner

This impressive Gold-winning Riesling had ‘a floral, flinty nose, with honeysuckle notes’, began Cheese at Leadenhall’s Robert Mason, further describing it as having ‘fresh acidity, with a hint of residual sugar, and a little oily, too’, and adding that the combination was decidedly ‘food friendly’. ‘Slate, rubber and lemon zest,’ added Richard Cavagin-Carey of The Harwood Arms, enjoying its ‘balanced palate, with slight sweetness, and a nice finish, too’.

£13.95 Maisons Marques et Domaines

Emile Beyer, Eguisheim, Gewurztraminer 2016, Alsace, France

Gold medal winner

This classically styled Gewürz took home the Gold, with team leader Angela Reddin describing ‘spicy-sweet, floral aromas, dried church flowers and plenty of richness on the palate’. Nelio Pinto of Candlesticks thought it ‘rich, and concentrated, with freshness in the background’, while The Don’s Carlos Ferreira felt it would be ‘great with cheese, with its peachy stone fruit aromas and sweet red apple notes, very balanced palate with good acidity and finish’.

£16.62 Matthew Clark

Cave de Turckheim, Turckheim, Marnes et Calcaires, Riesling 2014, Alsace, France

Silver medal winner

‘Citrus, mineral and petrol’ notes led, for team leader Lionel Periner, to a palate with ‘green apple, and a dry finish’, while Cheese at Leadenhall’s Robert Mason described a wine that was ‘flinty and juicy’ as well as ‘light, zingy and zesty’, offering ‘good value’.

£9.22 Boutinot

Trimbach, Réserve, Riesling 2015, Alsace, France

Silver medal winner

‘Lemon pith, smoke and slate,’ described Richard Cavagin-Carey of The Harwood Arms, further finding ‘racy acidity’ on the palate, while Timothy Connor of Core by Clare Smyth liked the ‘touch of smokiness’ on this ‘rich, complex and balanced’ wine.

£16.20 Enotria&Coe

Cave de Turckheim, Turckheim, Terres de Granit, Pinot Blanc 2016, Alsace, France

Commended medal winner

£7.59 Boutinot

Famille Helfrich, Arthur Metz, Michel Léon, Riesling 2016, Alsace, France

Commended medal winner

Michel Fonné, Pinot Noir 2015, Alsace, France

Commended medal winner

Michel Fonné, Pinot Blanc 2014, Alsace, France

Commended medal winner

Jean Biecher & Fils, Gewurztraminer 2016, Alsace, France

Commended medal winner

£10.52 Bibendum

 

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