Domaine Valentin Zusslin, Vieilles Vignes, Sylvaner, AOC/AOP Alsace, Orschwihr, France, 2004.
Varietal sylvaner, Demeter biodynamic registered, natural cork closure with inset wax cap, flat bottomed bottle, 12.5% abv, Gauntleys, bin end £4 (was £12.40)
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, medium intensity gold, showing tears
Nose: clean on the nose, of medium (+) intensity, fully developed, with aromas of honeyed bruised cooking apple, stone fruit preserves, anise, wax, hazelnuts and wood, a little VA and a warm hint of pineapple skin. [Pump the air out and refrigerate overnight – the bruised apple goes away, being replaced with none too rich pineapple and ripe pear].
Palate: an (just) off-dry wine, medium (+) acidity, a low-key grip, medium alcohol and a medium (+) body, with a smooth lightly oily texture, medium intensity, with flavours of dark honeyed bruised apple, nutty and woody nuances, and dried citrus fruits. A medium (+) length with a clean lightly grippy finish. [Similar to the nose, bruised apple replaced with honey, pineapple, ripe pear and ripe dessert apple].
Quality: a very good quality wine, fully developed with dominant tertiary notes, and lots of complexity on the nose. A well-balanced wine with fresh acidity a match for the modest alcohol and intensity of flavour. Quite concentrated flavours which follow through to the longish length.
Readiness for drinking/potential for ageing: drink now, this fully developed wine will hold for a year but neither develop nor improve with further cellaring.