2014 Pfaff Pinot Gris Steinert Grand Cru, Alsace
This white wine made by the Cave des Vignerons de Pfaffenheim in Alsace, France is a 100% Pinot Gris wine from the Grand Cru site of Steinert.
The Steinert vineyard is a Grand Cru site in the Alsace wine region of France, lying 13 kilometers (9 miles) south of Colmar town, and overlooking the village of Pfaffenheim.
It sits just below the Schauenberg mountain, known as the mountain of contemplation, which is considered to be an important place of mystical energy.
At Steinert, vines grow on relatively steep slopes, East-facing, and whose soils are made of limestone projections opposite the Alsace plain, the Rhine and the Black Forest.
This Pinot Gris Grand Cru comes in a vibrant lemon-yellow color, looking bright and shiny yet quite concentrated in the yellow-to-grey spectrum, and featuring a hint of the typical grey hues of the ‘Gris’ grape.
The nose is very vibrant too, featuring aromas of lemon like the color suggested. There is a clear cheesy side to the aromatic profile, surprisingly!
But don’t get me wrong. Not the negative cheesy smell. More like an enjoyable one in fact. The wine somewhat smells like parmesan, or more precisely like Grana Padano, in the sense that it smells like floral milk, aromas of fine cream mixed with notes of meadow flowers. Add hints of apricot and delicate fresh pineapple to get the full picture of an intriguing and tempting nose.
Put the wine in your mouth though, and it all starts to make more sense. The off-dry sweetness surprises slightly at first if you expected a completely dry wine. It is matched and neutralised by a vibrant mineral acidity though, making the wine taste crisp and refreshing, and nearly dry overall.
The mineral acidity underlines pungent flavors of lemon juice and freshly-squeezed orange, perhaps pink grapefruit too. A tropical edge, like fresh pineapple and litchi, and a wealth of floral tones, elderflower and lily.
Add subtle notes of sweet spices, and you’re in for a complex and layered tasting experience.
The precision in the expression of the fruit character that is so typical of limestone terroir (such as the Steinert Grand Cru of Alsace), which is lean, clean, and shiny. It delivers citrus, stonefruit, floral, and tropical characters in an outstanding balance, rare at this level of refinement in a Pinot Gris.
A delightful white wine for those in search of a unique tasting experience, floral and hyper fruity, yet with the elegance and mineral freshness you expect and perhaps love from Alsace.