Domaine Weinbach Muscat Reserve 2004
Somehow, with luck and a touch of knowledge I find myself consistently educated and challenged by French wines. One of the most exciting journeys in wine appreciation is that from generalization into particularity – that moment you realize the true singularity of great wines and the futility of universalizing or objectifying one’s love for such a temporal creation. It can be easy in the early days of many wine drinkers to write off certain grapes or even regions and instead rely on the tried and true, the gatekeepers or the reliable. But the first moment one experiences a truly great version of something previously written off is a revelatory experience. And, it is just such experiences that us wine geeks seek to replicate, or return to, as much as possible. The irony is that this nostalgia, which precipitates passion, dedication and even a little obsession, is itself the pursuit of a particular moment that will never return. Rather, it is that very instance of particularity where a glass of wine becomes a perfect moment that is itself the joy and the truth of what wine is and what it means.
Having previously ‘written off’ many a muscat, I knew I could turn to Weinbach for a reeducation. This wine had a floral and honeyed nose with candied orange, grapefruit and peach promising quite a ripe and rich experience. The palate, however, was dry, and its peach and nectarine flavours acompanied hints of orange blossom and light honeysuckle notes. This wine is very long in the mouth, very layered, and very complex on the mid-palate. While there may be leaner and more austere versions of Muscat out there, this ripe and fruity version is presented with both balance and varietal authenticity and is a superb Alsatian white that without a doubt has its own sense of particularity.
$40 at Marquis Wine Cellars