Powerhouse intensity, concentration, kaleidoscopic flavor, unique terroir: in short, one of the great Riesling terroirs in all of northern Europe, particularly when translated by the talented hand of Félix Meyer. Much like the weighty clay and marl terroir itself, Schoenenbourg is heavy stuff. Only ten cases are imported into the United States every year—well, nine and a half after I get my share. Compare its price to that of a top grower’s premier cru white Burgundy and then try to develop a list of reasons not to jump all over this opportunity delivered by the current imperfection of market forces.
Félix Meyer is a rising star in Alsace and has an evident instinct for his craft. Since taking over in the family domaine 1992, Félix has already left his own mark, modernizing equipment in the winery, developing export sales, and now expanding the family’s holdings in many of Alsace’s great vineyard sites, including several grand crus. It’s all about the details at Meyer-Fonné, with an emphasis on tradition and respect for terroir. The winery and family home is in the village of Katzenthal, known for its distinctive granite soils. Racy and elegant, his wines are difficult to resist young but have all the right qualities for the cellar. For aromatic and textural seductiveness, no one in Alsace can top Meyer-Fonné.
Tragically, Alsace might be the most misunderstood wine region of France. In spite of its long history of viticulture and tremendous diversity of pedigreed terroirs, a past fraught with marketing mishaps has left consumers baffled as to what exactly to expect inside one of these mysterious tall, thin bottles.
The good news, on the other hand, is that a new wave of quality-oriented growers is working hard to put Alsace in its rightful place as one of the world’s most fascinating sources of fine white wine. By embracing tradition, respecting terroir, and making a concerted effort to better communicate the countless virtues their wines have to offer, they have succeeded in putting Alsace back on the map.
Crafted from a number of grape varieties and beautifully interpreting the region’s mosaic of soil types, our Alsace imports are by and large dry whites offering exceptional versatility at table. While each of these selections is ready to be uncorked tonight, the finest among them are also capable of maturing for many, many years in a cool cellar. Expect kaleidoscopic aromatics, lively acidities, and loads of terroir transparency in these skillfully crafted masterpieces. Enjoy a foray into the thrilling world of the world’s most underrated wine region, and certainly do not hesitate to contact our sales staff with any questions as you take off on this mouth-watering adventure.
Trust the great winemakers, trust the great vineyards. Your wine merchant might even be trustworthy. In the long run, that vintage strip may be the least important guide to quality on your bottle of wine.—Kermit Lynch
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