Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Mittnacht-Klack Alsace Tokay Pinot Gris Clos St. Ulrich, 1999

The color of this wine tells me that I kept it too long: it has deep copper tones. There's a lot to like, however, in the mature Pinot Gris bouquet and flavors--waxy, nutty, honeyed with dried apricots and vanilla cream. Very ripe, rich and concentrated like a Sauternes. It's sweeter than I would expect from a table wine but the finish is lovely with layers of interest and complexity.

My impression--admittedly based on a small sample--is that wines from Alsace and Chablis are generally a bit sweeter at the start and have less staying power than they once did. I have Alsace wines from the early 1980s that are not as advanced as this wine. The same seems true for Chablis. I suspect that many producers, seeing their sales in the U.S. flounder for many years, decided to appeal to what they saw as American taste--sweet and early drinking. Try as they might, however, it's difficult to destroy the striking qualities that come from old vines well situated and well tended.

1 comment:

  1. One of my favorites. I love the style and what a value.