Marcel Deiss ‘Alsace’ 2011 (Alsace, France)
13%, Cork, $28
Marcel Deiss is easily my favourite Alsace producer (along with Zind Humbrecht and Albert Mann), the estate (and particularly current vigneron Jean-Michel Deiss) credited with reminding just how delicious field blend whites can be.
This wine, the entry point to the range, is suitably a field blend of a veritable fruit salad of Alsatian varieties (Riesling, Gewurtz, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc etc), crafted into a wine of fruit and texture, without some of the sweetness and wildness of the Deiss Grand Cru wines.
Actually, this whole wine feels more backward and even less forgiving than expected, a very serious wine, without the more genial fruitiness that typifies Deiss wines. In some ways that makes this a little hard to love, but after the first glass that tension of generosity and structure actually becomes mighty impressive.
Ultimately an intriguing, confronting wine with much to admire.
Tasted: March 2014
Score: 17/20, 90/100+
Would I buy it? Yes I would. But gee it might be a divisive drink on the dinner table…