This article was published in The 30 Second Wine Advisor on Friday, Jul. 26, 2013 and can be found at http://www.wineloverspage.com/wineadvisor2/tswa20130726.php.
All the Pinots in one
Pinot Noir? Sure! Pinot Gris? Who doesn't like it? Pinot Blanc makes an interesting variation, and who (other than a few wine geeks, Pinot Noir? Sure! Pinot Gris? Who doesn't like it? Pinot Blanc makes an interesting variation, but who (other than a few wine geeks, maybe) ever heard of Pinot Auxerrois? We can taste the entire Pinot family in one glass of the fine Alsatian white blend called Pinot d'Alsace."
Domaine Bott-Geyl's 2010 "Métiss" Pinot d'Alsace - a very fine value indeed at $15 in my local wine shop - is a rich, aromatic and well-balanced white made up of 35 percent each Pinot Blanc and Pinot Auxerrois, and 15 percent each Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. That last, a red grape of course, is used in the traditional "blanc de noirs" ("white from blacks") method in which the color-carrying grape skins are removed from the fermenting wine before any tinge of red appears.
While I'm wary of "non-traditional" blends of grape varieties, which don't always work out well - I would approach a Pinot-Zinfandel blend with caution, for instance - the regional blends that have stood the test of time certainly rank with, or even surpass, the great single-varietal wines.
Chateauneuf-du-Pape, for example, makes great wines from blended grapes. No one disses Bordeaux for bringing together Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc, Merlot and more; and I'm a huge fan of the 800-year-old blended tradition in Chianti. Pinot d'Alsace might not have the historic weight of those other blended wines, but based on the testimony of the Bott-Geyl, I'm more than willing to list it among the reliables.
Bott-Geyl Pinot d'Alsace would make a splendid wine to consider in Wine Focus in our WineLovers Discussion Group this month.
Possible geographical starting points might include the Collio hills of Northeastern Italy's Friuli, for one, and from bordering Slovenia; from Alpine Northern Italy, from Austria and Alsace; Oregon, selected California vineyards; New York's Finger Lakes and Ontario's Niagara Peninsula; New Zealand and, well ... you try 'em, taste 'em, and check in to the forum to let us know what you find!
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Today's Tasting Report
Domaine Bott-Geyl 2010 "Métiss" Pinot d'Alsace ($14.99)
Clear gold. Ripe peach and tropical fruit aromas, mango and maybe a hint of pineapple carry over in a rich, juicy fruit flavor that seems sweet on first taste but adds tart grapefruit and slight peach-pit bitterness on the palate and finishes long and dry. Interesting white, a delight for summer sipping at its full but not overboard 13.5% alcohol. The green "Certifié Agriculture Biologique" logo on the back label identifies wine made with "ecologically grown" grapes certified by Ecocert. U.S. importer: Vanguard Wines LLC, Columbus, Ohio. (July 9. 2013)
FOOD MATCH: It would serve well with a variety of white-wine fare from poultry and pork to richer fish and seafood, but also it also boasts plenty of complexity to make an exceptional aperitif.
WHEN TO DRINK: It's drinking beautifully now, and its richness and balance suggest good potential for holding under good conditions for two or three years. No promises for evolution over the longer term, but at this attractive price, "losing" a couple in a quality cellar could make for an interesting experiment in cellar evolution.
VALUE: This rich, aromatic white is a very good buy in the middle to upper teens. Wine-Searcher.com reveals a $15 average price for all vintages, $17 for the 2010. I'd buy it gladly anywhere in the range of $20 or less.
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