2020 Domaine Weinbach, Riesling, Cuvée Theo, Vin d’Alsace, France.
Absolutely crystalline and pure the 2020 Cuvée Theo Riesling by Domaine Weinbach is heavenly light, cool toned, and citrus laced on the dry palate with ultra crisp detailing and has a subtle tropical note, making it refreshing and very flexible with cuisine choices. Less dense than normal, but just as complex, this pale greenish gold Riesling is very elegant, especially for its youth and the grape’s notable natural acidity, this vintage delivers lime, pineapple, white peach and green apple fruits which are presented with a fine delicacy, mineral spice, herbal tea and stony elements. The inner energy here is more velvety than eye popping and this wine is proof that sometimes less is more and again the deft touch of Weinbach is excellent here and I admire the grace and poise of their wines and this wine doesn’t disappoint. Women and nature have always played a big part of the success at Weinbach, originally founded back in 1898 by the Faller family, which continues today. In recent years, Catherine Faller took over the leadership of the winery, made famous in a large part by her late mother Collette who brought the winery to the very top of wine world and her late sister Laurence, who was the winemaker for many years before sadly passing away at the young age of 41, and has kept the estate in the elite of Alsace wineries, along with her sons Eddy and Théo, who will lead the next generation at this historic domaine.
The grapes for Weinbach’s Rieslings are all organic and or biodynamic, they are all hand picked from parcels in the monopole Clos des Capucins vineyard, which is located in the Valley of Kaysersberg, and home to this famous Alsace estate, with sandy silt soils on granite pebbles that help give these wines their exceptional mineral focus. The grapes growing here in this terroir, which is a bit warmer and sees lots of sun, ripen a lot earlier, which the winery notes, produces wines with complex aromatics and deep concentration, though this Cuvée Theo shows restraint and lovely balance. This wine saw a gentle whole cluster press in a Champagne style pneumatic press, then a spontaneous fermentation with indigenous yeasts, that the Faller’s believe add an element of the terroir, enhancing the depth and complexity in the wine, in large old oak vats. The Weinbach Cuvée Theo Riesling sees close to 10 months on the lees in the large neutral wood barrels. The Weinbach offerings, like this one, are all vegan bottlings and have no additives except for a small dose of SO2 before blending and bottling, everything here is done to allow transparency and to promote the terroir influences. This understated 2020, with its pretty aromatics, was fermented completely bone dry and finished at 13.1% natural alcohol, which highlights the vintage and place very nicely and this wine performed brilliantly with a range of foods and flavors, but goes well with sea foods, like crab and or poultry in particular. These Weinbach wines, some of my favorite Alsatian stuff, are always impeccably made and joyful in the glass.
($40 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive