Some people say you never forget your first love.Don’t know much about this, but I’ll never forget my First Wine. No, not the one that was technically the first wine I ever tried. (Most probably that was a Soviet imitation of demi-sweet Champagne, worth remembering only for its distinctive chemical taste.)
The First Wine is the one that makes you fall in love with wine in general. It makes you aware of your passion. It makes you forget what you were saying before you tasted this liquid in your glass. It makes you take another sip and look around you, absorbing every detail about the scene, the people, the mood.
And the wine? You remember it already. You’ll remember it for a long time.
In my case the First Wine came from Alsace, and now – many years after the encounter – I still remember the thrill of the discovery. So, in a way, my relationship with wines from Alsace is special – which doesn’t mean it’s easy, as it ain’t easy to maintain good relationships with the family of your loved one.
Talking about some mixed feelings – the word ‘metiss’ on the label of 2008 Domaine Bott Geyl Pinot D’Alsace caught my eye before I had a chance to taste the wine. This word is the way the producer marks a wine made of more than one grape variety (i.e. a blend). In this case the wine – made in an organic and biodynamic winery, formed in 1953 and since 1993 led by Jean-Christophe Bott, who was mentored by the famous winemaker Leonard Humbrecht – is a blend of all authorised grapes of the Pinot family: Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir – and some Auxerrois. I was more interested in the personality of this metiss – and the wine of mixed race wasn’t a disappointment.
The colour is a beautiful shade of gold, with highlights. On the nose, aromas of peaches and apricots evolve in acacia honey and vanilla. The palate is gorgeously off-dry – just right degree of sweetness. Warm apricoty, honeyed taste with striking minerality is matched with good acidity and a long finish.
This Pinot D’Alsace would be a perfect partner for spicy or smoked dishes. This is an extremely well made wine – clean, balanced and fruity, an example of how elegant Alsatian wines can be. No reminders of my First Wine, please – or I’ll send you a bottle of a Soviet Champagne.
Available, priced £10.99, from JNwine.