2012 Grand Cru Domaine Marcel Deiss

Grapes Gewurztraminer, Riesling
Colour White
Origin France, Alsace
Other Organic, Bio-dynamic
Village Bergheim
Classification Grand Cru
ABV 13%
Vineyard Altenberg de Bergheim

The Altenberg 2012 is immensely rich and concentrated, but this is all balanced with powerful acidity so that it is surprisinly serene in its power and the richness is never overpowering. Ripe tropical fruit and honey volume and thickness are set against driving citrus and powerful length. Although still young, this is now ready to approach. Drinking range: 2018 - 2030 L&S (Oct 2019)

*Case price discount: Mix any 12 bottles (or 9l equivalent) of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits, Sweet Wine or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.

The 2012 Grand Cru Altenberg de Bergheim is the quintessence of all Alsatian grape varieties, including the pink Chasselas, and marked a milestone in Jean-Michel Deiss's life as a winegrower. It was in the Altenberg where he broke with the grape variety-over-terroir dominance because the Altenberg Grand Cru is more dominant than each of the grape characteristics. The field blend roots in calcareous sandstone soils with clay and is "extremely regular affected by noble rot," as Deiss reports. Deep yellow and almost golden in color, the 2012 shows intense and precise fruit aromas of ripe peaches, white cacao, vanilla and honey, but also a coolish and earthy soul or fundament. Sweet and very elegant on the first palate, this full-bodied, powerful and tension-filled wine reveals a stunning precision, typical limestone freshness and finesse. Indeed, the lemon-fresh acidity gives the rhythm of the Altenberg, and takes its estimated 90 grams of residual sugar into an ernormously long and salty finish. The 2012 is a highly expressive Altenberg that is a great pleasure to enjoy today, but an even greater pleasure in 10 or 20 years from now. Enjoy with foie gras or blue cheese, with fatted chicken or beef tartar, as Deiss recommends. Drinking range: 2025 - 2045 Rating: 95+ Stephan Reinhart, The Wine Advocate, 2015)

Deep golden yellow; a touch darker than the 2011. Very pure lemony botrytis complicates orange jam, vanilla and crystallized mango on the rich nose. Very precise and pure on the palate, with piercing but well-integrated acidity and great tactile presence. Flavors of white stone fruits, ripe citrus and balsamic herbs linger on the finish with great subtle persistence. The magic of the Altenberg is that it delivers wines that are refined and balanced even though they are, analytically speaking, “monsters.” This site is usually harvested a month later than the Mambourg. Drinking range: 2018 - 2034Ian d'Agata, 2015)

Domaine Marcel Deiss

Domaine Deiss's wines are without doubt among the most exciting of the region. The domaine has long focused on field blends so as to produce wines which reflect the terroir on which they are grown more than the individual grape variety, and in doing so Deiss has forced changes on a region which was known only for varietal wines thirty years ago. For many years this consisted mostly of the 'Alsace' blend at the entry level, and then a series of wines from specific sites which Jean-Michel called his 'level of Premier Cru' wines.

Now, having expanded the vineyard area, they have introduced a series of 'village-level' wines which are produced in the same way - from sites with several varieties planted together which are picked and vinified together too. All of these are immensely impressive and worth experimenting with - they each have a definite and unique character, and are some of the most fascinating white wines in the world. Of course we have favourites, and ours are probably Zellenberg at the village level, and Engelgarten at the level of premier cru - but like Burgundy, the complexity is best embraced rather than trying to simplify - all these wines are worth trying, to find your own favourites and to understand the bigger picture: start here!

Deiss may be a contrary character himself, not always in tune with other producers in the area, but the quality in the wines really does speak for what he has achieved.

The wines from the original vineyards are all certified organic and biodynamic, but as the domaine has recently expanded from 27 hectares to 40, some of the new vineyards have not yet achieved certification. All the wines are suitable for vegetarians, but they are not certified for that.

This wine isn't currently part of a mixed case, but you can always browse our full selection of mixed cases here.
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