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Ambitious producers like the young Samuel Tottoli at Kuentz-Bas are putting Alsace back on the map after years spent in the shadows due to poor communication and mass production of cheap bulk wine. There is no question, however, that this is one of France’s finest white-wine-producing regions: flanking the eastern side of the Vosges, this dry, sunny landscape is home to a number of soil types where noble grapes like Riesling and Pinot Gris reach dazzling heights. In the picturesque town of Husseren-les-Châteaux, Samuel seeks to bring out the best of the local terroir by farming biodynamically and using low-intervention, traditional methods in the cellar. For the domaine’s entry-level Riesling, that means a slow fermentation with indigenous yeasts in ancient oak foudres with full malolactic fermentation. These techniques yield a bright, fleshy, and stony dry white with bountiful exotic fruit and floral nuances. The balance, freshness, and lovely perfume make it a godsend at table.
|Vineyard:||25 - 45 years, 4 ha|
|Soil:||Loess, Silt, Limestone|
|Aging:||Slow fermentation (2-6 months) takes place in oak foudres over 100 years old|
Let the brett nerds retire into protective bubbles, and whenever they thirst for wine it can be passed in to them through a sterile filter. Those of us on the outside can continue to enjoy complex, natural, living wines.
Inspiring Thirst, page 236