It must have been many months since I had my last Alsace, so I was quite pleased when our guest agreed to a mini Alsace tasting last week. We compared two 2012 wines from Caves Bott Geyl in Beblenheim, situated centrally in Haut-Rhin which tends to deliver the highest quality of the region. We compared a Pinot Gris from the Les Éléments series with a Gewurztraminer from the Jules Geyl range, the latter made from wines bought from smaller producers in the region. Both were produced to express the character of the grapes, meaning it would allow for a clean comparison of varieties.
We found the nose of the rose and lychee typified Gewurztraminer much easier to describe than the nose of the Pinot Gris. After some fun sampling against aroma bottles from our Le Nez collection, we ultimately did recognize a wealth of citrus fruits and a faint yet clear hint of liquorice. However, all four of us ultimately preferred the richer and more welcoming Gewurztraminer, clearly the most aromatic grape variety used in the Alsace and my personal favourite.
Wine: Pinot Gris, Les Éléments
Producer: Domaine Bott Geyl
Grape(s): Pinot Gris
Appearance: light yellow
Nose: grapefruit, orange, honey, a faint hint of liquorice (which is actually quite dominant in the arome du bouche), cedar and roasted hazelnut
Taste: reservedly sweet, gentle and very well balanced acidity, intense finish which fills your mouth with richness
Winose rating: ★★★☆☆
Wine: Gewurztraminer, Jules Geyl
Producer: Cave Bott Geyl
Appearance: light yellow with golden reflection
Nose: rose, lychee, pear, orange peel, wine lees, a hind of apricot, peach, a touch of pine and nutmegg
Taste: sweet intro, very rich flavor with acidity only developing towards the finish, an arome de bouche dominated by honey
Winose rating: ★★★★☆
We bought both wines from Henri Bloem in The Netherlands. However, the wines from Bott Geyl (www.bott-geyl.com) are also distributed in the United Kingdom.