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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|
Living wines have ups and downs just as people do, periods of glory and dog days, too. If wine did not remind me of real life, I would not care about it so much.