Spotlight on Alsace: Domaine Albert Mann Riesling Schlossberg Grand Cru 2008
It is once one enters the realm of Riesling that Alsace becomes truly exceptional. There is so much variation in style when it comes to Riesling that it is hard to know what you are getting if you pick up a random bottle. Alsace is a region where it pays off particularly well to do your research.
Uniquely Dry, but Overly Simple
Albert Mann’s Schlossberg Riesling is distinctly unlike the Rieslings made from the same vineyard by Domaine Weinbach. This is a lean and linear Riesling with pretty much no residual sugar.
In some ways this wine may be too austere, with its linearity left unassisted by a lack of complexity and a short finish. That said, this wine is juicy and fresh, clean and flavourful. I remain offput by what I feel to be a lack of character for a Grand Cru site, especially one with underlying Granite that tends to add superb richness and depth and where Weinbach makes serious and otherworldly wines from the same grape.
I suppose the classic line would be to call this too young, which is perhaps true, but only to a limited extent. I do not expect this wine to gain tremendously with age, but rather to soften. This will be a good thing, but it doesn’t live up to the pedigree. The wine remains a fascinating example of the diversity of styles in Alsace and most would likely be hard pressed to guess the origins of this wine blind.
$45 at Marquis