Monday, 12 May 2014

A Magnum for Monday: Turckheim Sables et Galets Riesling 2010

In contrast to what people say: size matters. The bigger the better if you ask me.

You guessed it, I’m talking about magnums (unfortunately not the delicious chocolate coated ice creams, we can chat about those another time). I won’t go into all the details about magnums - Kate already discussed size last month and Freddy offered a few choices for Christmas boozing – but I wanted to share with you The Beast I came across last week.

I was at an Alsace tasting of the wines of Cave de Turckheim, a winery tucked away in the village of Turckheim, North West of Colmar, considered to be the “capital of Alsatian wine”. From vines to wines, Cave de Turckheim has been in production for over 50 years, and Michel Lihrmann, the senior winemaker for at least half of this time, strongly believes that varietals in Alsace should express their delicate characteristics and reflect the kaleidoscope of flavours that they’re capable of.

Favouring the dryer style of Alsace wines, Turckheim's consistent innovative approach has gained them numerous medals and awards. Today they produce an extensive range, from value-for-money Cave Tradition’s to 3 different Grand Crus. Most recently, for all you green gods and goddesses, they’ve introduced several organic wines (whether you’re fussed about that kind of thing or not, these taste great, so don’t dismiss them). On the night, we tried Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Muscat, Pinot Noir and Gewurztraminer, but it was really all about the Riesling.
Truth be told, I preferred the mouth watering 2008 Grand Cru Brand Riesling, though it’s puny 75cl bottle couldn’t compete with the giraffe like magnum of 2010’s Sables et Galets Riesling. This vintage has a fruity and approachable style, which makes it an easy-pleaser if you’re having friends over (and let’s face it, you’re going to have to with this sized bottle!).

The grapes in 'Sables et Galets' are grown on a mixture of diverse soil - sandy ('sables') and stony ('galets') – which give the wine its generous fruit, reminiscent of limes and green apples, and it’s decent minerality, leading to a luscious dry finish.

Dry Rieslings are generally regarded as being food-friendly wines, and those Frenchie/German Alsatian’s do love their food. This would be the perfect accompaniment to fish and not-too-strong seafood – take me to the beach, pronto – yet it can also stand up to spicy Asian cuisines, particularly fragrant Thai. A night in with a takeaway, a few friends, and a hoofin’ magnum. I reckon they’d be impressed.

Despite the ridiculous bottle, Turckheim Sables et Galets Riesling doesn’t have a ridiculous price tag. You can buy it from All About Wine for only £24.49, great value for money considering how much you actually get. It’s probably worth it just for the comedy wine pouring efforts... You best clear the fridge.

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