Did you have a red or a white Christmas?

So, did you have a red or a white Christmas?

Well, what kept me sane over the last few days of December 2018, where four little bottles of white wine, amongst others of course, but these are worth the mention and that if there were more stock available I would definitely buy some more, and would recommend you do the same. Two genius wines where from the same Agathe Bursin stable. Her 2016 Riesling Dirstelberg and her 2015 Gewurztraminer Dirstelberg.

Christmas White Wine2016 Riesling showed off bright straw-green. Minerals, green apple and white flowers on the nose and palate. Rich and round with a large, spherical mouthfeel as is typical with wines from this site, which always delivers size over finesse. A twinge of lemony acidity provides lift and staying power. Residual sweetness is paired with robust total acidity that helps make the wine taste dry. From old vines in the east facing portion of the high elevation Dirstelberg with the famed grès rose (pink sandstone) soil.

2015 Gewurztraminer had rosewater, lychee and exotic, tropical flavours emerge from the glass in wonderful harmony here. What an attractive nose. There is poise, balance and ripe orange, tangerine and tropical fruit all in evidence on the palate. Extremely gratifying, this is voluptuous and creamy Gewürztraminer which shows a refreshing finish of real depth and a lovely cleansing and balancing acidity.

As this woman now making some of the finest white wines in the world and I am a huge fan I am going to share with you a little of the history here.

Since taking over the family domaine in 2000, Agathe has rightly garnered a reputation as one of Alsace’s “comets in the sky”. Quantities from the 5ha estate are small and demand is high making the wines sell out fast. The vines are located around the village of Westhalten in the south of the Alsace region. Around one third of Agathe’s vines are in the Grand Cru of Zinnkoepflé – reaching up to be Alsace’s highest peak at 420m, with south/southeastern exposures and yet wonderfully sheltered – with the remainder in what is known as the Noble Valley.

Agathe works this terroir by hand and by heart, organic principals and herbal & bio-dynamic preparations all contributing to the health and vigour of the vines. This land is tied to Agathe’s experiences from early childhood tasting with her grandmother and grandfather.

Her range, although limited in number of bottles covers all the noble varieties and styles of the regions and wonderfully exhibits the profound textural weight and verve of the region. Merci Beaucoup Agathe! you saved my Christmas.

And the other two whites are both local ones. I have always enjoyed Argentine white wines a lot more than their reds wines. Even back in the day when the majority of Argentine’s did not even know that white wine existed in the Republic, and there were only really then one or two bodegas producing anything of note, and mainly in the north with their fabulous Torrontes. Now they are in business with all white grape varieties of the world represented.

2016 `Fosil` made from Chardonnay in  San Pablo Village in Uco Valley (Mendoza), vines tended by the illustrious Zuccardi family.

2017 Chardonnay `Unfiltered` Finca Suarez, Altamira in Uco Valley (Mendoza).

Juanfa Suarez is the young winemaker here and is paying a lot of attention to the new generation of white wines to be shown off from this region.

If you want tasting notes for the two wines above, ask me and i`ll send you a bottle of each to try out.

…and finally, has the world gone totally bonkers? I just read this in a reputable wine journal:

A group of scientists and viticulturists from Georgia are researching which grapes would suit Martian soils and how best to cultivate grapevines there in the hope that one day colonists could make their own wine on the red planet.

Well, I guess so!