Have you heard of Alsace Rocks? But first, have you tried wines from Alsace, France? Alsatian wineries are currently experimenting with Syrah, produce little of one red, Pinot Noir, as well as beautiful whites such as dry Riesling, sweet Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer.
So what is Alsace Rocks? It’s a month-long celebration of Alsatian wines with events, at restaurants, wines bars and retail shops – many attended by their Grand Cru producers. The event will hit Los Angeles May 2020, after running through both New York one year and Chicago another.
Why attend? Well, in my opinion: Because the wines are stellar. This is what I wrote in a social media post regarding an event I just attended:
In a tasting of all Alsatian wines (easier to pronounce than Al-zass) I enjoyed all that we sampled, happy to learn about the charming area of France that borders Switzerland and Germany, their traditional use of the long-necked bottles that I was taught shows off their aromatics, how to pair these wines with food and that LA dwellers will soon have a full month of their own to discover all of the same things – and more.
The month-long event, Alsace Rocks, has had great success in both New York and Chicago, and is now coming to Los Angeles May 2020 to offer plenty of tasting experiences for everyone. Stay tuned to their website for details as they emerge. I will be too.
Wine we loved included Charles Baur sparkling rose of Pinot Noir, Julien Schaal Dry Riesling, Trimbach Riesling, Hugel Pinot Gris and Pierre Sparr Gewürztraminer.
The social media post above was just one small part of what I learned during the tasting. I noted the champenoise method used to make the NV Domaine Charles Baur Crémant d’Alsace sparkling rose of 100% Pinot Noir, aged for nine months as opposed to the 12 months decreed by law in Champagne, they only make one batch a year, about $22 a bottle, and it was my favorite in the tasting.
The Julien Schaal Rangen de Thann dry Riesling is a Grand Cru and one of 15 wines to be imported regularly to the U.S. The grapes are grown in volcanic soil and in very steep terrain. I noted a medium acid and Meyer lemon, another wine I would definitely like to sample again.
Our third wine, from well-known wine brand Trimbach that was established in 1626, was an aged 100% Riesling, a 2010 Cuvee Federic Emile (named after one of their ancestors). I noted a fine balance to this one.
The 2016 Hugel Pinot Gris Classic had a striking “Corkscrew Man” logo designed by Fear and Loathing illustrator, Ralph Steadman. The wine is made from the same Pinot Grigio grape, with zero skin contact, has some residual sugar, with notes of anise on the nose as well as smoky, earthy qualities in a rich mouthfeel.
Our final wine was a 2017 Pierre Sparr Gewürztraminer. The grapes had no irrigation and were hand-harvested mid-October. Lots of yellow apple and fruit cocktail, as well as the most incredible blooming rose petal aromas in this lovely gold-tinged wine.
Find most of the wines at K and L or Total Wine.
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.