Alsace in the far east of France is a wine region with German influences.
It’s the source of some very interesting white wines, which usually come labelled by the grape variety – this is unusual in France.
Most are dry, but some have a bit of sweetness, too. They are usually versatile food wines, and are well worth exploring.
The Society’s Exhibition Riesling 2015 £13.50, thewinesociety.com (01438 741177), 12.5% alcohol
This dry riesling has a good concentration of lemon and grapefruit with some rich grape, melon and pear notes. There’s some real intensity here. Its finish is a bit spicy and pithy.
Domaine Bruno Sorg Pinot Gris 2014 £16.50, tanners-wines.co.uk (01743 234500), 13.5% alcohol
A dry, linear, fresh style of pinot gris, this wine shows lively citrus fruit with some grapey richness, as well as hints of spice. There is attractive intensity here, with good acidity and real depth of fruit.
Tesco Finest Alsace Gewurztraminer 2016 £8, Tesco, 13% alcohol
This is a distinctive wine with rich, rounded grape and lychee notes and a touch of feisty smokiness. It’s spicy, has a hint of sweetness and would work particularly well with aromatic Asian dishes.
Cave de Turckheim Terroirs d’Alsace Sables & Galets Pinot Gris 2015 £11.99, Virgin Wines, 13% alcohol
Dry but textured, this white has a hint of grapey sweetness and smooth pear and cantaloupe melon notes, together with some savoury spiciness. There’s a nice balance and a generosity to this wine, with a softness that runs across the tongue.
Kuhlmann-Platz Riesling Cuvée Prestige 2016 £11.99, Majestic Wine, 12.5% alcohol
Fresh and slightly smoky on the nose, this is a rounded, sweetly fruited wine with subtle hints of bread and honey, as well as a bit of citrussy spritz. It is well balanced and pure with a bit of zip on the finish.
Domaine de la Ville de Colmar Clos Saint-Jacques Riesling 2015 £13.99, Majestic, 12.5% alcohol
From a 10.5 hectare vineyard in Colmar, this wine has a nice concentration of lively citrus fruit with a touch of melon richness. It’s dry and focused with ripe yellow fruit characters and some citrus drive, and there’s a fresh acidity keeping things lively.
The Society’s Vin d’Alsace 2015 £8.95, The Wine Society, 13% alcohol
This is a blend of several varieties. It’s fresh, dry and fruity with a nice citrus core and subtle herby overtones, as well as grapey, floral notes. It’s a wonderful all-purpose white with lots of interest.