A Wine Lover’s Near Weekly Guide To $15 Wine – An Old Vines Riesling From Alsace

I tend to like Alsatian wines and I tend to like Rieslings, so this may be a slam dunk. Maybe. This winemaker has been around for some fifty years. Actually it’s a cooperative englobing over 200 wine growers. The city of Turckheim is surrounded by a medieval wall with three portes opening to the Munster Valley, the Porte des Vins, and the city of Colmar. If you are there between May and October check out the traditionally dressed night watchman making his rounds at about 10 pm singing traditional songs. And in mid-August make sure not to miss the Alsace Wine Fair. Don’t drive. The companion wine is a Mosel, Germany sweet Riesling at about two-thirds the price.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review were purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed Cave de Turckheim Vielles Vignes Riesling 2009 12.5 % alcohol about $14.

Let’s start by quoting the marketing materials “Tasting Note : Fantastic characteristic notes of wet stone minerality and lime citrus with grapefruit and orange tones too. The nose is also beginning to show a very nice petrol quality. Quite racy in the mouth, with very strong reflections of the aroma profile. This old vine Alsatian is an impressive wine; try it out with friends and some deep-fried calamari. (VINTAGES panel, Aug. 2012)” And now for my review.

At the first sips this wine was long and almost sour with some of that famous (and really not so likeable) Riesling petrol. The main dish was a baked chicken leg, which was spiced with cardamom, cumin, garlic powder, black pepper, and onions. In response the liquid took on some citrus and smoke. A side dish of baked onions softened this wine’s acidity. It darkened and I got the taste of burnt. The libation did a good job of handing the grease in the accompanying potatoes but its acidity wasn’t round enough. When paired with zesty guacamole smoke dominated the contents of my glass.

The second meal began with a homemade vegetable soup that rendered our Alsatian friend smoky and yet sweet. It was fairly long. The centerpiece was chicken and beef meatballs enlivened with a mixture of coriander, cumin, black pepper, garlic, and caraway seed. In response our fermented grape juice became smoky with a burnt taste and yet it was still sweet. Steamed quinoa toughened up this wine. Fresh strawberries muted the drink; the burnt taste remained, but nothing else.

The final meal focused on an omelet that contained red pepper, black pepper, cumin, coriander, and flax seed. The libation responded with a dark burnt taste and pleasant acidity. It was quite long. The side dish of homemade roasted eggplant brought some wood and charcoal to the mix. Poached pears in allspice and cinnamon caused Whitey to weaken, and offer some smoke and unbalanced acidity. When accompanying a slice of poppy seed cake the drink’s harsh acidity became dominant. There was a burnt, smoky taste.

Final verdict. I was quite disappointed. Maybe I should have not brought along my expectations. They were not met.

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, and likes drinking fine wine with friends. He teaches computers  at an Ontario French-language community college. His global wine website www.theworldwidewine.com features a weekly review of $10 wines. Visit his wine, nutrition, and health website www.wineinyourdiet.com.

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