No doubt about it, the greatest Alsace wine is Riesling, even if it is easier to produce great wines (albeit not quite as great) from other varieties. Alsace stands alone in the
world as far as truly great Gewärztraminer, and Pinot Gris with any really pungent claim to spiciness.
However, although I was delighted by lots of superb Riesling, I was hugely disappointed by most Riesling SGN. The very best, purest SGN should be Riesling, yet of 19 tasted, only three scored in the 90s, and although the 85 achieved by another two is theoretically a very good score (in my mind 85 is the sort of minimum quality I expect from a wine in my personal cellar), it must be seen as pretty poor showing for an SGN. That the rest scored below (most of them well below) 85 points is, frankly, a travesty.
Alsace Riesling Cuvée Frédéric-Emile 2002 Trimbach
Outstanding weight, concentration and length.
Alsace Grand Cru Schlossberg Riesling 2002 Blanck Paul Et Fils (15.30)
Soil: granitique. Thirteen grams of residual sugar and it needs it! Excellent freshness, acidity and varietal typicity. Should be wonderful in two years.
Alsace Grand Cru Moenchberg Riesling 1983 Gresser Andre & Remy (25)
Soil: marno-calcaire et colluvium. Amazing for 20 year old dry Riesling. Honeyed-style of mature Riesling. Dry. Exceptional.
Alsace Grand Cru Kastelberg Riesling 1990 Kreydenweiss Marc
Deliciously fresh, well-preserved Riesling fruit, with petrolly aromas only just starting to evolve. So young. Amazing.
Alsace Grand Cru Schoenenbourg Riesling 2000 Becker Jean
Soil: marno-sablo-gypseux. More complexity and finesse than the 2000 Froehn.
Alsace Grand Cru Hengst Riesling 2000 Josmeyer
A lovely wine, beautiful fruit.
Alsace Grand Cru Sommerberg Riesling 2002 Blanck Paul Et Fils (15.30)
Soil: granitique. Delicious, fresh fruit that is drinking so easily, so early, with immediate finesse, yet has potential to develop.
Alsace Grand Cru Brand Riesling 2002 Boxler Albert (15)
Soil: granitique . Intense, minerally fruit. Great concentration.
See all Boxler Riesling Brand stockists on wine-searcher.com.
Alsace Grand Cru Sommerberg Riesling 2002 Boxler Albert (15)
Soil: granitique. Extremely rich, and obviously needs the residual sugar (7.5g) because it tastes relatively dry and shows off its bountiful acids.
See all Boxler Riesling Sommerberg stockists on wine-searcher.com.
Alsace Riesling SGN 2000 Klur Clement (27)
Fresh, vibrant Riesling fruit. Very sweet, but more VT level than SGN. A lovely wine nonetheless.
Alsace Grand Cru Altenberg De Bergheim Riesling VT 1990 Koehly Charles Et Fils (27.50)
Soil: marno-calcaire. Toasty-mature Riesling on the nose, wonderful freshness of rich, ripe, sweet fruit on the palate. Lovely acid maintaining vitality of fruit.
Alsace Grand Cru Schlossberg Riesling 2002 Mann Albert (16)
Soil: granitique. Lovely freshness of concentrated fruit (crystallised lemons, kumquat). Long. Finesse.
See all Albert Mann Riesling Schlossberg stockists on wine-searcher.com.
Alsace Riesling Schlossreben 2002 Simmler Nicolas (6.90)
Very fresh, intensely flavoured, with crystallised citrus fruits on the finish. A classy wine at a ridiculously cheap price.
Alsace Riesling Tannenbuehl VT 2001 Stentz-Buecher (22)
Absolutely delicious and not overly sweet VT that promises to evolve into a fine, petrolly-complex wine in the next 5-10 years.
Alsace Grand Cru Wineck-Schlossberg Riesling 2002 Meyer-Fonne (12.50)
Soil: granitique. Deliciously sweet apple and citrus fruit.
See all Meyer-Fonne Riesling Schlossberg stockists on wine-searcher.com.
Alsace Grand Cru Riesling Wiebelsberg 2000 Rieffel Andre
Soil: sablo-gréseux. Elegant, ripe, Riesling fruit. Lovely, youthful finesse.
Alsace Grand Cru Riesling Zotzenberg 2002 Rieffel Andre
Soil: marno-calcaire. Deliciously fresh, crisp, youthful Riesling fruit that already makes very easy drinking, and should not be cellared too long.
Alsace Grand Cru Riesling Wiebelsberg 2002 Rieffel Andre
Soil: sablo-gréseux. Very young, extremely fruity Riesling aromas, this can be kept much longer than Rieffel's Zotzenberg 2002.
Alsace Riesling Kaefferkopf 2002 Schoech Maurice Et Fils (9)
Fresh, citrus and tropical fruits. Lovely acidity. Drinking well now, but should age beautifully over the medium to long term.
Alsace Riesling Reserve 2002 Trimbach
Although only one step up from Trimbach's entry level Riesling, this is one vintage Riesling Réserve that would repay laying down 3-5 years. Already developing some finesse.
Alsace Riesling VT 1988 Beyer Leon (26)
1st bottle: corked (possibly). 2nd bottle: definitely clean, with botrytis aromas (not much of it about in 1988) and rich, succulent fruit. Although honeyed, still very much in fruit mode, with at least another 5 years upward development to go.
Alsace Riesling Steinacker De Traenheim 2002 Muller Charles Et Fils (6.90)
When a wine is as beautifully fresh and invigorating as this, I don't care that it contains 11g/l residual sugar. Especially because it doesn't taste like it.
Alsace Grand Cru Kessler Riesling 2002 Dirler-Cade
Soil: sablo-argileux. Soft, fresh and delicious..
Alsace Grand Cru Kessler Riesling Cuvée Cécile 2002 Dirler-Cade
Soil: sablo-argileux. Sweeter than, but not superior to, Dirler-Cadé's standard Kessler Riesling, this wine has more tropical, less classic, fruit flavours. It is, however, just as enjoyable.
Alsace Grand Cru Saering Riesling 2002 Dirler-Cade
Soil: marno-calcaro-gréseux. Deliciously rich, long, and ridiculously easy to drink for such a young, classic Riesling.
Alsace Riesling Altenbourg 2002 Sparr Pierre Et Ses Fils (11)
The nose of a VT and unsurprisingly quite sweet on the palate too. Exquisitely perfumed, elegant fruit.
Alsace Grand Cru Brand Riesling 2002 JosMeyer
Light, fresh, delightfully dry fruit, supported by nice acids. Keep somewhere cool and dark for at least three years.
Alsace Grand Cru Wiebelsberg Riesling Vieilles Vignes 2002 Gresser Andre & Remy (18)
Soil: sablo-gréseux. 1st bottle: corked. 2nd bottle: deliciously rich, crisp and effectively dry. Lovely ripe Riesling for drinking now and in the short term.
Alsace Grand Cru Zinnkoepfle Riesling 2002 Haag Jean-Marie (11.90)
Soil: calcaro-gréseux. Fresh, delicious, medium-dry Riesling fruit that needs a couple of years to bottle-age the terpenes.
Alsace Grand Cru Sommerberg Riesling Clos St Theobald 2002 Schoffit (57)
Soil: granitique. Already very rich and fruity, with minerally aftertaste.
Alsace Riesling VT 1989 Hugel Et Fils (36.98)
1st bottle: corked. 2nd bottle: lemon-gold colour, mature, honeyed Riesling aromas, richly honeyed fruit with minerally-petrolly nuances on the finish. Medium-sweet. Has aged very well, considering its typically low 1989 acidity.
See all Hugel Riesling VT stockists on wine-searcher.com.
Alsace Grand Cru Sommerberg Riesling 2000 Stentz Aime Et Fils
Soil: granitique. Very fresh for 2000, with lovely crisp fruit. Just has the edge over the 2001.
See all Stentz Riesling Sommerberg stockists on wine-searcher.com.
Alsace Grand Cru Wineck Schlossberg Riesling 2002 Bernhard Jean-Marc & Frederic (10)
Soil: granitique. Deliciously fresh and zesty Riesling fruit.
Alsace Riesling Les Ecaillers 2002 Beyer Leon (14.50)
Needs 2-3 years bottle development, but promises to be a classic dry Riesling.
Alsace Grand Cru Sommerberg Riesling 2002 Bohn Francois (12)
Soil: granitique. Sweet, rich, almost VT level sweetness. Good, fresh, zesty Riesling aromas. Should age well. Nice with apple tart.
Alsace Riesling 2002 Bott-Geyl (13)
VT in all but name. Elegant and refreshing fruit.
Alsace Grand Cru Brand Riesling 2000 JosMeyer
A nice Riesling, with good fruit, and the capability to age well over the next few years, but not quite in the same league as the 2002 (87 points).
Alsace Grand Cru Sommerberg Riesling 2002 Buecher Paul (18.70)
Soil: granitique. Fresh, sweet and luscious apple-Riesling fruit with crisp edges.
Alsace Grand Cru Sommerberg Riesling 2001 Buecher Paul (18.70)
Soil: granitique. Drier, more elegant, Fresh, sweet and luscious apple-Riesling fruit with crisp edges.
Alsace Grand Cru Zinnkoepfle Riesling 2002 Bursin Agathe (11.75)
Soil: calcaro-gréseux. Fresh, crisp Riesling fruit with zesty-lime acidity.
Alsace Grand Cru Pfingstberg Riesling 1989 Chateau D'orschwihr (22)
Soil: marno-calcaro-gréseux. Probably VT level even if not declared as such. Medium-sweet apricot and plum fruit still has a way to go. At least another 5-10 years.
Alsace Riesling Clos Du Letzenberg 2002 Domaine Du Manoir-Thomann Marina (6.20)
Potentially powerful aromatics and great richness of fruit, but must not be touched for at least 2-3 years.
Alsace Grand Cru Schlossberg Riesling Cuvée Ste Catherine "L'inédit" 2001 Domaine Weinbach-Faller (41.50)
Soil: granitique. A nice sweet-ripe Riesling that would have made a much nicer, drier Riesling.
Alsace Riesling Rebgarten 2002 Fonne Michel (7)
A rich, tasty, serious Riesling that tastes dry (or thereabouts), but was submitted as over 5g/l residual sugar. Refreshing finish.
Alsace Riesling Cuvée Drei Exa 2002 Ginglinger Paul (6.89)
Fresh, lightly rich, elegant Riesling fruit. Already drinking nicely, but with the capacity to age in the medium term.
Alsace Riesling 2002 Ginglinger Pierre Henri (4.60)
Very fresh and approachable, with cardamom seed aromas, indicating fine aromatic potential.
Alsace Riesling Vieilles Vignes 2002 Ginglinger Pierre Henri (6.70)
Fresh, rich and tasty Riesling fruit that will repay bottle-aging and go honeyed rather than petrolly.
Alsace Riesling Weingarten 2002 Hirtz Jean Et Fils-Earl Du Rotland (4.10)
Ultra-fresh, medium-sweet Granny Smith's Riesling fruit with the potential for tropical fruit aromas.
Alsace Grand Cru Brand Riesling 2002 Josmeyer & Fils Sa
Soil: granitique. Fresh Riesling fruit aromas, minerally-petrol potential, with a strong and compact palate of fresh, dry, Riesling fruit. Should achieve great finesse.
Alsace Grand Cru Geisberg Riesling 2002 Kientzler Andre (20)
Soil: marno-calcaro-gréseux. Tastes rich, but this is due partly to a tiny amount of residual sugar lifts that lifts the quality of what would otherwise be too herbaceous. The hint of sweetness results in more pleasing fruit, with a flavour reminiscent of Granny Smith's apple.
Alsace Riesling Cuvée Jérémy SGN 2001 Kuentz-Bas (35)
Crystallised fruits on nose, deliciously rich, concentrated Riesling fruit on the palate. Could be a tad less alcoholic and a touch sweeter, but very good all the same.
Alsace Grand Cru Zinnkoepfle Riesling SGN 1998 Landmann Seppi (230)
Soil: calcaro-gréseux. Apricot-skin aromas permeating fruit, making it gently rich and tangy. Sweet, but not cloying.
Alsace Riesling Vieilles Vignes 2002 Mauler Jean-Paul (7)
A soft, but serious Riesling that will age nicely over the medium term.
Alsace Riesling Muhlforst 2002 Stoeffler Vincent (7.40)
Deepish colour, but very fresh ands breezy fruit.
Alsace Riesling Médaille D'or 2002 Wantz Charles (7.40)
Full and rich, with good acidity.
Alsace Grand Cru Pfingstberg Riesling 2002 Zusslin Valentin Et Fils (11)
Soil: marno-calcaro-gréseux. Voluptuous, early-drinking style.
Alsace Grand Cru Rangen Riesling Clos St Theobald 2002 Schoffit (57)
Soil: volcanique. Very fruity with a firm, dry finish.
Alsace Grand Cru Ollwiller Riesling 2002 Cave Vinicole Du Vieil Armand (4.50)
Rich, minerally fruit.
Alsace Grand Cru Steingrubler Riesling 2002 Cave Vinicole-Wolfberger
Light but long, fresh and elegant, with nice, dry fruit. Much preferred to the Eichberg 2002.
Alsace Riesling Obersard SGN 1998 Hertz Victor (55)
Sweet rather than intensely sweet, with some petrolly bottle aromas threatening to develop.
Alsace Riesling SGN 2001 Simonis Rene (23)
Great concentration of good but not exceptional Riesling. A tad cloying.
Alsace Grand Cru Osterberg Riesling 2002 Sipp-Mack (12.80)
Soil: marneux. Rich, ripe fruit. Good acidity, but a touch too sweet.
Alsace Riesling 2002 Trimbach
A crisp, lemony, early developer.
Alsace Grand Cru Schlossberg Riesling 2002 Blanck Andre Et Fils (8.20)
Soil: granitique. Very rich with a green edge.
Alsace Grand Cru Furstentum Riesling 2002 Blanck Paul Et Fils (15)
Soil: calcaire. Fresh, light, sweetish fruit.
Alsace Riesling 2002 Boesch Leon-Domaine (7.30)
Nicely evolved Riesling fruit on nose; nice acidity, perfumed aftertaste.
Alsace Riesling Pfoeller 2002 Meyer-Fonne (12.50)
Rich, early-drinking, easy-drinking, very fruity style. Submitted as less than 5g/l residual sugar, but must be a good 10g/l.
Alsace Grand Cru Eichberg Riesling 2002 Ginglinger Paul (10)
Soil: marno-calcaire. Zesty Riesling fruit. Some sweetness. Palate and finish very fresh. Nose in intermediate phase, therefore could well improve to a much higher quality level.
Alsace Grand Cru Wineck-Schlossberg Riesling 2002 Blanck Paul Et Fils (15.30)
Soil: granitique. Not in the same class as either the Sommerberg or the Schlossberg.
Alsace Grand Cru Sommerberg Riesling 2002 Stentz Aime Et Fils
Soil: granitique. The VA-lifted fruit might be very attractive to some now, but it will not age well. Much prefer the 2000 and 2001.
Alsace Riesling SGN 1997 Albrecht Lucien (47)
Big is not necessarily best and this is far too big, without the balance to match.
Alsace Riesling De Scherwiller 2002 Frey-Sohler (7.30)
Grape-skin aromas followed by pithy fruit.
Alsace Riesling SGN 2000 Frey-Sohler (35.50)
Surprisingly full and alcoholic for colour.
Alsace Grand Cru Kastelberg Riesling SGN 2000 Gresser Andre & Remy (37)
Soil: schisteux. Rich, but not that sweet and a tad too alcoholic.
Alsace Grand Cru Zotzenberg Riesling 2002 Hirtz Jean Et Fils-Earl Du Rotland (6.80)
Soil: marno-calcaire. Fresh citrus fruits with a hint of sweet and sour on mid-palate.
Alsace Riesling Silberberg SGN 2001 Koeberle Kreyer (29)
Rich, full and probably too alcoholic to achieve great finesse.
Alsace Riesling Cuvée Particulière 2002 Lorentz Gustave (8.72)
Promises to be an elegant, easy-drinking Riesling in 1-2 years.
Alsace Riesling 2002 Mader Jean-Luc (5.50)
Soapy (youthful) Riesling. Can be drunk now, but will reward a year or two in bottle.
Alsace Riesling Gaentzbrunnen 2002 Moltes (5.50)
Good acidity, but needs more substance.
Alsace Riesling SGN 2001 Moltes (24.10)
Dry for SGN, but that's no bad thing, but the nose lacks finesse and there is something clumsy about the balance.
Alsace Riesling VT 1999 Rentz Edmond (18.30)
Grape-skin aroma with soapy fruit on the palate.
Alsace Grand Cru Eichberg Riesling 2001 Kuentz-Bas
Fresh, full-bodied and thankfully clean (unlike the Pfersigberg).
Alsace Grand Cru Altenberg De Bergbieten Riesling SGN 2000 Schmitt Roland (28.90)
Soil: marno calcaro-gypseux. More big Riesling SGN: where's the finesse?
Alsace Grand Cru Rangen Riesling Clos St Theobald SGN 1998 Schoffit (57)
Soil: volcanique. Raspberry and strawberry confiture nose (can't be accused of colour bias in a white wine), with sweet, jammy fruit on the palate.
Alsace Grand Cru Florimont Riesling 1989 Sorg Bruno (35)
Soil: marno-calcaire. Off-dry apricot fruit. Should be drunk up.
Alsace Riesling Kronenbourg 2002 Stoeffler Vincent (7.40)
Deepish colour, fuller style, yet deftly balanced Riesling fruit.
Alsace Grand Cru Froehn Riesling 2002 Becker Jean (10.80)
Soil: argilo-marneux. Goodish, but not special. Lacks finesse.
alsace grand cru froehn riesling 2002 becker j. Phil. & francois (10.90)
Soil: argilo-marneux. Fresh, sweet and sour.
Alsace Grand Cru Eichberg Riesling SGN 1998 Beyer Emile (50)
Soil: marno-calcaire. A good wine spoilt by a touch of VA and relatively low pH.
Alsace Riesling Bollenberg 2002 Chateau D'orschwihr (5.80)
Rich Riesling flavours spoiled by alcohol dominating finish.
Alsace Riesling Clos De La Folie Marco 2002 Hering Domaine (4.95)
Short and sharp: will it develop?
Alsace Riesling 2002 Schmitt Francois (4.20)
Clean, focused Riesling fruit that will make easy drinking over the next 2-3 years.
Alsace Riesling Fruehmess 2002 Schwartz J.L. (6)
Okay for fruit and freshness, but a touch sweet and not special.
Alsace Grand Cru Sommerberg Riesling 2002 Kuehn (8.70)
Soil: granitique. Too sweet: needs less sugar or more acidity.
Alsace Grand Cru Eichberg Riesling 2000 Kuentz-Bas
Alsace Grand Cru Wineck-Schlossberg Riesling 2002 Meyer Alfred Et Fils (8.50)
Soil: granitique. Amylic, skin-contact aromas. Sweet. Insufficient acids.
Alsace Riesling Kaefferkopf Cuvée Nicolas 2002 Schaetzel Martin (15.10)
Very fresh, but too sweet for the balance of this wine.
Alsace Riesling 2002 Scherb Louis Et Fils (5)
Grape-skin aromas followed by relatively simple fruit. Will age, but will not become multi-dimensional.
Alsace Riesling Kaefferkopf 2002 Simonis Rene (6.60)
Too sweet: needs less sugar or more acidity.
Alsace Grand Cru Wineck-Schlossberg Riesling 2002 Schoech Albert (8.30)
Soil: granitique. Something missing from this perfumed Riesling.
Alsace Grand Cru Wineck-Schlossberg Riesling 2001 Meyer-Fonne (12.50)
Soil: granitique. Malolactic too noticeable.
Alsace Riesling Vieilles Vignes 2002 Sipp-Mack (7.20)
Alsace Riesling 2002 Bleger Claude (6.40)
Disjointed sweet and sour fruit.
Alsace Grand Cru Zinnkoepfle Riesling 2002 Landmann Seppi (19)
Soil: calcaro-gréseux. Light and fresh, but ungainly, out of balance, and lacks finesse.
Alsace Riesling Clos Château Isenbourg 2002 Chateaux & Terroirs (11)
Basic citrus fruits.
Alsace Riesling Réserve 2002 Jux (4.80)
Taste of skins, rather than the aromatics from them, and plodding fruit on the palate.
Alsace Riesling Oberberg 2002 Schwartz Christian (5)
Sugary nose, all secondary aromas on palate: just bottled?
Alsace Grand Cru Brand Riesling 2001 Kuentz-BAS
Fat, dull and boring.
Alsace Riesling 2002 Cave Vinicole-Wolfberger (4.50)
Has acid, but lacks fruit and finesse.
Alsace Grand Cru Eichberg Riesling 2002 Cave Vinicole-Wolfberger
Sharp, metallic finish.
Alsace Riesling Jubilee 2002 Hugel Et Fils (20.22)
1st corked. 2nd bottle has off-putting high aroma, almost rape seed in character.
Alsace Riesling Kirschacker 1992 Hertz Victor (20)
More high rape seed aromas..
Alsace Riesling Bruderbach Clos Des Frères 2002 Loew Etienne (7.50)
Common Riesling nose, lacks freshness and vivacity.
Alsace Grand Cru Pfingstberg Riesling 2002 Schmitt Francois (6.10)
Soil: marno-calcaro-gréseux. Touch too much malolactic. Lacks freshness on nose, but not palate, although that lacks focus and the finish lacks crispness.
Alsace Grand Cru Pfersigberg Riesling 2000 Kuentz-Bas
Cleaner than the 2001, but lacks finesse.
Alsace Riesling Muhlforst 2002 Kuhlmann Frederic (6.80)
Alsace Grand Cru Eichberg Riesling 2002 Weber Odile Et Danielle (8.50)
Soil: marno-calcaire. Boring nose, lacks freshness.
Alsace Grand Cru Pfersigberg Riesling 2001 Kuentz-Bas
Unclean, and unbalanced.
Alsace Grand Cru Zinnkoepfle Riesling 1993 Landmann Seppi
Soil: calcaro-gréseux. Maderised.
Alsace Riesling Rebberg 2002 Kreydenweiss Marc (20)
Cider and secondary aromas: just bottled? Judgement withheld.
Alsace Riesling Hagel 2002 Sipp Louis (10.60)
Contradictory stage: judgement withheld.