Spotlight on Alsace: Albert Mann Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Furstentum Vieilles Vignes 2008
The calcerous soils of Alsace’s Furstentum Grand Cru, part of the Haut-Rhin or upper river valley, seem to make wines of particularly velour lusciousness. Albert Mann is a small organic producer making excellent wines at pretty reasonable prices for such illustrious sites. While there are 50 Grand Crus in Alsace and criticisms that some are less deserving than others, the Furstentum Grand Cru is amongst the better crus in Alsace.
Alsace has an image problem. The increasing sweetness levels in the wine are impossible to discern on label alone. You have to know the producer. Some might never realize that wine makers like Trimbach are making lean and austere wines in Alsace. Richness and opulence are certainly becoming the norm in the region. Albert Mann is decidedly in the latter camp, though I think he manages to eke sufficient balance from his wines so that they do not become overly gloppy. And Mann is certainly not amongst the insipid inexpensive Alsatian wines that populate the shelves – more than many regions cheap-o Alsatian wines should be avoided.
At first nose, this wine presents beautiful perfumed lychee nut and jasmine with considerable elegance and purity. Floral, light, deft – this is a very pretty wine.
This wine is more like drinking a bed of flowers than most any other I’ve had from Alsace far. This is both a good and a bad trait as the wine’s flavourfulness can give way to one-dimensionality at times. For such a high-level site, I feel this lacks the level of complexity, finesse and balance that Weinbach or Zind-Humbrecht offers, but it is a very good wine nonetheless. And, at nearly ½ the price.
$46 at Marquis
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