Alsace Wine

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Alsace Wine

We've been shipping wines from Léon Beyer since 2018 after an enthusiastic introduction from Silvano Giraldin of Le Gavroche. Based in the picturesque medieval village of Eguisheim just south-west of Colmar, this family-run operation has been cultivating vines and trading in wines since the 16th Century. Current patron Marc Beyer is ably assisted by his daughter Anne-Sophie and son Yann who help with the administration and winemaking respectively - keeping the estate amongst the elite of independent Alsace wineries. Today, their vine holdings extend to 23 hectares, including prime parcels in the Grand Cru communes of Pfersigberg and Eichberg that furnish the fruit for the celebrated 'Comtes d'Eguisheim' bottlings of Riesling and Pinot Noir. The 'house' style favours atypically dry wines that have a strong sense of varietal character and pair well with food – hence the close relationship with Le Gavroche.

Opening the batting here is the Beyers excellent sparkling 'Crémant d'Alsace' which is a bottle-fermented blend of Auxerrois and Pinot Blanc. It has a fine mousse, fresh acidity and ripe orchard fruit flavours and makes a versatile apéritif or partner to all manner of canapés. A 'house' bottling or 'Edelzwicker', called 'La Cuvée' is usually made from Pinot Blanc, Muscat and Sylvaner and is intended to be light enough to drink on its own or with shellfish. Fresh and fruity with a clean, elegant finish, it is a versatile crowd-pleaser and makes a fine introduction to the Beyer portfolio. Their 'Réserve Personelle' wines are all fine representations of their individual grape varieties. The Riesling has persistence and length and appealing oily undertones. The Pinot Blanc has bright apple aromas and zesty, mid-weight fruit. A Pinot Gris has a touch more depth and complexity while the Gewurztraminer is redolent of spices, lychees and white pepper and pairs well with the local tarte flambée. Their dry Muscat is imbued with scents and flavours of ripe table grapes and makes for an uplifting bonne bouche.

The aforementioned 'Comtes d'Eguisheim' wines hail from small parcels of free-draining, elevated, mature rootstock and are noted for their terrific expression of fruit and for their longevity. The 'Grand Cru' bottling of Riesling from Pfersigberg has a magnificent illuminated, turquoise label, a full, fruity bouquet and rich palate of preserved pears with mineral undertones and a long finish. It can cellar well for 10 to 20 years and makes a fine partner to fish or poultry in cream-based sauces. The Beyers' Pinot Noir under the same label is equally admirable with a wealth of dark cherry and berry fruit, forest floor nuances and supple tannins. It too is long-lived and makes pairs well with charcuterie or small game.

Not to be overlooked is the celebrated, late-harvested 'Vendanges Tardives' bottling of Gewurztraminer that has a rich, golden colour, preserved fruit scents and a richly-honeyed palate offset by fresh acidity. It makes for a decadent 'sun-downer' or partner to fruit-based desserts and can be matured for 10 to 20+ years.

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  1. Alsace: Léon Beyer Crémant d'Alsace Brut
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Alsace Wine Region

Occupying the key strategic territory between the Vosges mountains and the river Rhine, Alsace has changed hands like a passed parcel over the centuries but has remained officially French since the Potsdam Agreement of 1945. The result of this fluid history is a uniquely Rhine-ish identity that can be seen in its culture, architecture, cuisine and wine. Onions, cabbages, potatoes, pork, eggs, cheese and pastry all loom large in the local culinary repertoire, which is complimented to perfection by a diverse range of highly distinctive and aromatic 'single-varietal' wines.

AOC Alsace was created in 1962 (Cremant followed in 1976) and the region mainly produces white wines - 90% of production. 51 Grand Cru sites were formally recognised in 2011, yet even they deliver remarkable value for money.