Wine Club Dirt – April 2017
Alsace must be one of the most intriguing regions in France. When I visited last year, I was completely charmed by it – the Germanic influenced architecture, cuisine, and wine – it seems to straddle both countries, giving its visitors a unique Alpine experience. It’s a place that seems old fashioned, like stepping back in time, a place you want to linger and explore. We’re going to do so via wine with two fresh and vivacious wines from Domaine Bechtold.
Jean-Marie Bechtold is the fourth generation to steward this traditional domaine. He approaches winemaking as he would raising a child, “with patience, spirited attention and understanding of particular needs.” Bechtold is the only domaine in Dahlenheim that is organic, and they are making the conversion to biodynamic viticulture. Almost all of the vinification at Domaine Bechtold is done in stainless steel to preserve the freshness and purity of the fruit. The wines remain dry with refreshing acidity, exemplifying their Alpine terroir perfectly.
Bechtold Riesling Grand Cru ‘Endelberg’ 2014 – $34.99/btl
Grown in limestone soil, the Grand Cru ‘Endelberg’ is bone-dry. Because of its bracing acidity, it is a wonderful candidate for the cellar and will age beautifully over time. It is also incredibly versatile at the table, as all good rieslings tend to be, and will partner up nicely with almost anything. Thai Curry Mussels, sushi, and sardines. But another favorite Alsatian classic comes to mind, Tarte flambée (a flatbread with onions, bacon, and fromage blanc).
Bechtold Obere Hund Pinot Noir 2015 – $34.99/btl
From the steepest vineyard site on the domaine, this 100% Pinot Noir is aged in large oak barrels after fermentation and carries with it all the joy of this noble grape in a northern location. Pretty aromatics of red cherry, black pepper, cured meat, and birch bark – it’s enchanting and draws you in. On the palate you find notes of red cherry and strawberry, mint, and forest woodsmoke. This wine will add a dose of freshness to any plate you put before it – salty Alpine cheese like Gruyere or a traditional Alsatian choucroute garnie (basically a big beautiful plate of pork, potatoes, and sauerkraut.)