Wineblogging Wednesday – Alsatian Grand Cru ’03 Riesling

A rural country path, leading off into the wilderness…. …it’s not really that rural but I had to make my urban hike look a little bit adventurous… …just to keep up with all those other macho bloggers who, I am sure, were scaling near vertical hillsides along the Rhine while blogging about this months Wineblogging Wednesday choice – Riesling, hosted by Russ Beebe of winehiker. I hacked my way thru the perils of Wandsworth Common to get to Northcote Rd, where a quaint little wine shop called The Grape Shop quietly goes about it’s business of selling hidden gems. I found a fabulous Alsatian Grand Cru from the cooperative, Cave de Turckeim. An ‘03 Riesling from the Brand Grand Cru vineyards. There are only 50 hillsides within Alsace that are qualified to call themselves Grand Cru. According to legend, the hillside of Brand was the location of “an epic battle between a dragon and the sun which set the forested slopes alight. The following spring, vines grew where once there had been trees.” Pretty nifty story, I think. Much more exciting then the usual banal explanations about “sun-soaked” hills, etc. I didn’t consume my wine on the way home so I don’t get any bonus points for that but I did combine it with pan-seared pork chops in a honey-dijon mustard sauce. How was it? Amazing. I used a bit of wine in the sauce which produced a faint vinous echo on my palate. The sauce enhanced the citrus character of the wine and also brought into focus a gentle orange marmalade character lurking about. The wine, when I first opened it, had vibrant nose of ripe red apple, honeysuckle, wet rocks and a whiff of petrol that you are likely to find in rieslings that have a bit of age on them. Dry and crisp but with a bit of heft on the hips, so to speak, plenty of ripe white fruits, white peach, a nice dose of minerality and a refreshing lime/grapefruit...

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