Alsace Deserves Better: Celebrating the Greatest White Wines in the World with Mélanie Pfister

Alsace Deserves Better: Celebrating the Greatest White Wines in the World with Mélanie Pfister We’re back to Riesling for the Summer but decidedly different versions than we’ve yet encountered. I rather like the way that Jancis puts it: The wine…

Alsace Deserves Better: Celebrating the Greatest White Wines in the World with Mélanie Pfister

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Alsace Deserves Better: Celebrating the Greatest White Wines in the World with Mélanie Pfister

We’re back to Riesling for the Summer but decidedly different versions than we’ve yet encountered. I rather like the way that Jancis puts it:

The wine of Alsace reflects the ambivalent situation of a border province . . . Alsace has never been German, except in periods of military occupation. Its language and its market may be, but its soul is entirely French. Alsace makes Germanic wine in the French way.

We honored that Mélanie Pfister will be joining us. An eighth generation vigneronne, Mélanie makes elegant, electric wines in the northern reaches of the Bas Rhin. We’ll be tasting three of her wines alongside examples from vineyards further south to get a feel how these sites communicate a sense of place. https://vintage59.com/our-portfolio-2/pfister_alsace/

Bill Jensen, sommelier for Michelin-starred Washington DC restaurant Tail Up Goat, and her sister Reveler’s Hour, is a breakout star of the Covid-19 Pandemic with his virtual wine school. In an effort to stay in touch with his regulars and soon-to-be regulars, he launched #StayHome Wine School on March 29th, and continued every Sunday at 4 pm EST for 40 straight weeks. In the very beginning, it was BYOB. Later, Bill would recommend bottles to be purchased at various wine shops. By week 9, TUG and RH reopened and local wine school students could shop there, first for bottles and later also for flights.

To be added to the newsletter and gain access to the class each week, email your request to: wineschool@tailupgoat.com

This week’s poem was Permanence in Change by J.W. Goethe http://poemsintranslation.blogspot.com/2015/03/goethe-permanence-in-change-from-german.html

In Bill’s weekly recap email, he said this:

This week’s lesson brought to mind a favorite quote from the invaluable vignerons’ history of World War II, Wine & War: “Our wines evolve slowly and nobly, carrying with them hopes for a prolonged life,” explained one winegrower. “We know our land was here before we came and that it will be here long after we are gone. With our wine, we have survived wars, the Revolution and phylloxera. Each harvest renews promises made in the spring. We live with the continuing cycle. This gives us a taste of eternity.”

I have more resources for you below if you’re in the mood for a deeper dive, including more Mélanie content, a whirlwind tour of the region’s Grand Crus, and a British primer on Alsatian culture.

– “Life Between the Vines” interviews Mélanie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12fTqLXSesg

– Wine Folly gives you an oenophiles’ guide to Alsatian wine: https://winefolly.com/deep-dive/alsace-wine-a-guide-for-oenophiles/

– The Wine Enthusiast wants you to meet the Grand Crus. (Fear not. They don’t introduce all 51.) https://www.winemag.com/2017/07/10/meet-the-grand-crus-of-alsace/

– Learn about the geology of Alsace with this video from the French Wine Society: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQAP5yHfylQ

– Visit the Pfister cellars with Washington, DC’s international wine blogger extraordinaire Christian Schiller: http://schiller-wine.blogspot.com/2019/07/cellar-tour-and-tasting-at-domaine_10.html

– The Los Angeles Times features a somewhat dated but nonetheless profound glimpse at the region’s unique wine history: https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1989-03-16-fo-1670-story.html

– The. British Council lets you in on “a few things you might not know” about Alsace: https://www.britishcouncil.org/voices-magazine/alsace-culturally-not-quite-french-not-quite-german

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