|Grapes||Pinot Blanc, Sylvaner, Riesling|
Of the new 'village-level' complantation wines from Deiss, the Ribeauvillé sits 'mid-weight', deliciously more full and spicy than the Zellenberg. There's more flesh and weight to the fruit. Stone fruits and something slightly herbal, wild flowers. Broader and thicker with some lovely honeyed, truffle touches, still with a wonderfully sapid flow, ripe acidity carries the finish beautifully. For those that like their wines more hench. Drinking range: 2020 - 2025 L&S (Apr 2020)
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Pale straw. Apple, pear and peach on the ripe, showy nose. Then bright and juicy, displaying cinnamon, wild herb and lemongrass nuances to the ripe pomaceous orchard fruit flavors. Deep and quite rich (in fact, so rich that this wine tastes almost off-dry, and yet it has less than 4 g/L r.s.) on the suave, long finish. A blend of mostly Riesling and a small percentage of the Pinot varieties planted on essentially marl and clay soils (and you can taste the clay in the size of the wine). Drinking range: 2019 - 2022 Rating: 90 Ian d'Agata, www.vinousmedia.com (Apr 2020)
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.
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