Epic Pinot Blanc

Epic Pinot Blanc

Posted on Feb, 22. 2011 by

Categories: Wine

Pinot Blanc is not a varietal that a lot of people have a lot of experience with. Oregon got really into it some years back and continues to make some excellent American style Pinot Blancs. Few People realize that it has had a long history in Burgundy, older styles of White Burgundy often containing large quantities of the grape blended with the Chardonnay (a flavor that very much so has defined the current). Beyond that, the grape is grown to some note of quality in Austria, Northern Italy and of course Alsace.

Domaine Weinbach – Cathy, Colette & Laurence Faller

It is Alsace that has produced the finest expressions of Pinot Blanc that I have ever come across, the finest of those is the wine I have today. Pinot Blanc is the only major varietal in Alsace that has no available Grand Cru status but there are a few producers who seem to want to amend this structure as noted by the quality they are putting into their production. Ernest Burn has always created something epic from the grape, his is a personal favorite of mine, but I had never tasted Pinot Blanc from one of the top 3 producers in the Alsace until last week.

Domaine Weinbach produces many of the finest Alsatian wines available. Since I have been drinking their wines (for about ten years) they have jumped in quality from a low top level estate to a top top level estate. Their wines are rare, hard to find and often expensive, but there are few great wines available that deliver the “sure thing” level of quality and satisfaction like these guys do. As a side note, they achieved DEMETER (official Biodynamic) status last year.

It is hard for me to justify the cost of the great Grand Cru wines from Domaine Weinbach like I used to and that is why I was awe struck by the quality of their affordable Pinot Blanc. There is such a profound core of articulated crisp fruit and acidity in this wine. Dry and complex, there is something seemingly much more akin to White Burgundy than Alsace in the delivery, it is only knowing the producer that connects the two and makes this seem totally justifiable. My notes simply read, “intense core” by which I meant to sum up the balance of body and acidity so powerfully contained in this elegant wine -it is a core of intensity and complexity holding the wine together in the center between the terse, mineral start and long delicious finish.

I highly recommend this wine to everyone, especially those who are big fans of top white Burgundies as it is a fantastic broadening of that palate type. This is an extremely well made wine that is tremendously versatile, there isn’t a fine dish or contemplative evening that requires more.

2009 Domaine Weinbach, Pinot Blanc Reserve
Member Price: [private_member] Grand Cru: $16.89 • Premier Cru: $17.65 [/private_member]
Retail Price: $25.58
Buy Now!

PS. This is also prefect for this time of year, having enough body for these last few cold days and the crispness for the coming warm ones.

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