Michel Chapoutier, Riesling – Selection Parcellaire, Lieu dit Berg, AOC Alsace, Grand Est, France, 2012
This wine: lot No. L3335BE (on the glass just above the front label), varietal riesling, 14% abv, coated natural cork closure, stained for about 10mm, Gauntleys, £30.77 (06/17)
Consumer tasting note: an outstanding Alsace riesling from Michel Chapoutier, and not a whisper of petrol in sight after 6 years – he suggested that over-pressing was the cause of a petrol note, and so used gentle pressing only. The jury is still out though, as it has more ageing potential. An intense wine, very complex, with notes including apple, baked and cut, herbs, dried lemon peel and lemon curd, honey, roasted hazelnuts, and touches of iris and anise; medium bodied, thinner on the finish, with a palate including stewed, baked and sliced apple, lemon pith, roasted nuts and a suggestion of a richer tropical dimension. Finishes long.
Drink now – RTD, and will improve over 3-7 years – Wait. No need to decant.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, medium intensity gold, showing tears [no deposit]
Nose: clean, pronounced intensity, developing, with aromas as they come, of dried stone fruit, baked apple, a touch spicy, a hint of bruised apple, dried herbs, dried lemon peel, an indistinct nuttiness, a hint of lemon curd, lemon boiled sweets, cut ripe cooking apple, a hint of anise, beeswax, iris, a touch of honey, roasted hazelnut.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, medium (+) alcohol, medium body, medium (+) intensity, a smooth texture with a moderate grip, typical of riesling, with flavours of stewed apple, lemon pith, a hint of unripe stone fruit, dried apple and riper stone fruit, baked apple with a waxy edge, honey, an edge of roasted nuts, a hint of something more tropical. A long length with a clean finish of dried and baked apple.
Quality: outstanding, well balanced fresh acidity with alcohol – which on the finish gives an impression of a thinner body; a strong intensity throughout, with similar concentration, showing a high level of complexity on the nose, less so in mid-palate, with the typical grip of a riesling, and evidence of tertiary development (dried fruits, honey, nuts, wax), still balanced by primary citrus and orchard fruit. Finishes long.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: can drink now, but has potential for further ageing, over say 3-7 years, and keep for 10-15 years from now – a riesling with a sound structure and balance, loads of intensity, concentration and length, with residual primary fruit, and a rich developing complexity, which will deepen, and broaden a little, with time.