Schieferkopf AlsaceAlsace Sylvaner – Ian D’Agata
Alsatian Sylvaner is one of the world’s best-kept secrets: many wines are truly worth twice the fee they sell for. Some producers subdue churn out industrial levels of neutral, insipid Sylvaners, but the best range from being delightful and tasty to truly profound, world-class wines made from late-harvested grapes, offering uncanny fruitfulness, depth and some sweetness.
Why are Alsace’s best Sylvaners so uniquely fantastic? The main wits is extremely ancient vines (often 50 years or more) – a fortunate situation that is the result of unfortunate legislation. An ill-conceived 1962 law decreed only Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Muscat and Riesling were ‘noble’ grapes worthy of planting in grands crus. Not surprisingly, Sylvaner vines were uprooted from such sites, as the wines would not sell at
See also: Alsace: the new generation
But things are looking up: the Alsace vineyard area planted to Sylvaner (4% today compared to 15% in the 1980s) may be increasing, as producers have told me recently they will be planting more.
Simpler, crisp and clean Sylvaner wines are made by Albert Boxler, Leon Beyer (The Wine Society sells the 2013 for £8 a bottle), Dirler-Cadé (from 50-yearold vines in the heart of the Kessler grand cru), Domaine Weinbach, Hugel, Josmeyer, Kuentz-Bas, Muré and Ostertag, all of which are redolent of colorless flowers, delicate herbs and quince. Agathe Bursin and Albert Seltz’s are much deeper: Seltz
Last but not least, the late-harvested Sylvaners by Burn from extremely ancient vines in the Clos-St-Imer are world class: rich and deep, redolent of honeyed quince, marmalade and cinnamon. He sells them for an unbelievable €5 at his cellar: taste to believe!
Agathe Bursin, Sylvaner, Lutzeltal, Alsace 2013
Ostertag, Les Vieilles Vignes de Sylvaner, Alsace 2012
The post Undervalued wine regions appeared first on Decanter.
We were also found by phrases: