I always appreciate getting a chance to taste Alsatian wines, given their varietal purity and structure. These are Old World wines in the best sense, but of course, made with the latest in technology.
I recently samples three new releases from the famed Alsatian producer Dopff & Irion. Located in Riquewihr in the Haut-Rhin area of Alsace, the winery was established in 1945, and is today, housed in the Chateau di Riquewihr.
I read quite a lot about small artisan estates in Alsace, yet not much about this famous producer, so I was intrigued to taste these new wines. Here are my notes:
Dopff & Irion Cremant d'Alsace Rosé Brut
Many producers make sparkling wine in Alsace; here these wines are labeled as Cremant d'Alsace. There are traditional Brut versions as well as rosé. This is 100% Pinot Noir; pale orange color, aromas of dried strawberry and orange zest. Medium-bodied, good acidity, moderate persistence. Clean, dry and balanced, this is pleasant, but lacks depth. Enjoy over the next 12-15 months. Good
Dopff & Irion Pinot Blanc “Cuvée René Dopff” 2015
This was my favorite of the new releases I tasted. In Alsace, Riesling is the king of grapes, with Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris being considered noble grapes as well. Poor old Pinot Blanc, however, is thought of a simple, every day wine (a producer I know calls Pinot Blanc "glug, glug wine").
This is a very fine version. Light yellow; aromas of golden apples and dried yellow flowers. Medium-bodied with good depth of fruit, good acidity, a light earthiness in the finish and very good persistence. Nice complexity and persistence. Nice typicity and varietal character. Enjoy now and over the next 2-3 years. Very good value and quality.
Dopff & Irion Chateau de Riquewihr Riesling Grand Cru Schoenenburg 2011
Light golden yellow; aromas of apricot, honey and guava. Medium-full, quite ripe, very good persistence, balanced acidity, dry finish. Rich and ripe, this lacks some acidity (no doubt due to the very warm 2011 growing season), and while offering very impressive varietal purity, it does not offer the harmony or complexity of the finest Grand Cru Rieslings. Now-3 years, perhaps longer. Very good