The hillside with some of the best Grands Crus of Alsace rises in the background. We are in the family estate of Domaine Weinbach at Clos des Capucins. On a blistering summer day we approach the house, wondering if they still remember that we had made an appointment. We are indeed received by Cathy Faller, co-owner of the domaine, in a 19th century house.
Surrounded by photos of the family history and awards, we were given a liquid tour of their creations. Our best tasting in Alsace. Their wines are precise, concentrated and elegantly structured. Picking late to have very ripe grapes gives a touch of residual sugar, a fuller body and slightly more alcohol. Their gewurzstraminer from the Grands Crus Furstentum and Mambourg are one of the best we have tried. The rieslings shine in their Schlossberg Grand Cru, pinot gris in Altenbourg.
The highlights of the day came with the sweet wines. Flowers, apricots, peach and honey caress you in forever lasting Vendage Tardives and Sélection de Grains Nobles. The balance of the sugar and the acidity is of the utmost finesse. Certainly the best we have tried in Alsace.
A special mention must be made of their pinot noir, a grape well dominated by their neighbours across the Rhine, in Baden. Alsatian pinot noir’s quality is improving and we are excited to see what the upcoming vintages will present us with.