15.05.12

Dopffing The Cap To This Delicious Alsace Pinot Blanc

The 15,500 hectare mosaic of vineyards in Alsace is host to a huge range of soils (volcanic, limestone, gneiss, sandstone, marl and granite to name but a few) and grape varieties.  This means the region's wines - renowned the world over for their distinctive aromatics, purity of fruit and food-matching prowess - range from fresh and clean Sylvaners, to mineral and citrusy Rieslings, to spicy and floral Gewurztraminers and smoky Pinot Gris.

The often overlooked Alsace Pinot Blanc is arguably the most food-friendly of them all.  The majority are blended with Auxerrois as this balances out the lively acidity with spice and body, meaning the wine will match well to a wide range of dishes.

Dopff Au Moulin 2011 Pinot Blanc 12.5% Vol - RRP £11.90, www.slurp.co.uk

The Dopff family - now in its 11th generation - has been making wine in the impossibly picture-perfect town of Riquewihr since 1574 using grapes from its 70 ha of vineyards surrounding the small town, together with fruit from long-term contracted growers.  The family's historical commitment to quality and terroir means their 2011 Pinot Blanc is a good expression of this prime wine producing area which is situated at 300m, and nestled at the foot of the lower-Vosges  - providing shelter from the Northerly winds and rains from the West, and giving an exceptional southerly exposure and microclimate.

2011 was a year of extremes for Alsace vineyards: harsh winters, mild or high temperatures in spring, drought followed by heavy rainfall in summer - Pinot Blanc and Auxerrois both suffered during this wet weather - and then a perfect Indian summer with high temperatures.

Identifying the exact optimum moment for hand-harvesting these grapes was key.  The bunches were collected in small 'bottiches' before undergoing a gentle pressing and natural decantation after which the juice was fermented in stainless steel tanks.  Bottling took place in spring, following a natural clarification over the winter months and a light filtration.

For further information, please contact Ali at ewpr / 020 8747 9592