2020 Domaine Weinbach, Pinot Gris, Clos des Capucins, Vin d’Alsace, France.
The 2020 Clos des Capucins by Domaine Weinbach is intense, dry, complex and fully the equal of the estate’s Riesling with concentration, mineral tones and energy showing crisp green apple, a range of citrus and tangy tart quince fruits along with saline, wet stones, spice, a hint of honeycomb and loamy earth. Medium bodied the Clos des Capucins Pinot Gris has a very engaging tension, depth of flavors and vitality that make it very worthy example of the grape and region with enough stuffing to age too, Weinbach’s quality throughout the range is, as always, impressive and while sometimes the Pinot Gris and Sylvaner get overlooked, this is a vintage that you should not miss with this one offering good value too. The Weinbach monopole Clos des Capucins vineyard, where this Pinot Gris is sourced, is farmed all biodyanamic and is a unique and historic site which has soils that are sandy silt with a pebbly granite core with warm exposure, making for ripe and expressive wines, as this lovely effort shows.
Like their basic Riesling bottling, the Pinot Gris was gently whole cluster pressed in a Champagne style pneumatic press, then Weinbach employed a spontaneous fermentation with indigenous yeasts, that the Faller’s, the family behind this legendary domaine, believe these methods add an element of the terroir, enhancing the depth and complexity in their wines. After going dry the Pinot Gris sees eight months on the lees in the large neutral wood barrels, which is just about perfect to mature this outstanding Alsatian white, and like all of the Weinbach offerings, this is an all vegan bottling, it goes great with a wide array of cuisine. Catherine Faller took over the leadership of the winery a few years ago now maintaining if not lifting quality here at Weinbach, though made famous her late mother Collette, who brought this winery to the very top of wine world during the 1990s and early 2000s and her late sister Laurence, who was the winemaker for many years before tragically passing away at the young age of 41, with her sons Eddy and Théo, now taking on the torch here. This Pinot Gris is nicely balanced and rewarding, it deserves a place with a meal, going well with ham, poultry and fleshy fish dishes.
($39 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive