Saturday, 24 October 2015

Some Alsace Poetry: Gustave Lorentz Tasting in Helsinki With A Nice Range of "Gastronomic" Wines

Few weeks ago in Muru, there were some amazing wines to taste in the afternoon, and some other amazing wines were getting ready to be tasted in the evening, there was a nice, slight rush.

Pascal Schiele, the export manager of the Alsace producer Gustave Lorentz, came all the way through Helsinki and I can only say that I was just lucky and happy to be invited to that tasting by a very good friend, and it was just a perfect, beautiful, sunny day for such a beautiful occasion. (Note: The tasting took place out of the service hours, therefore not public space.)

Pascal Schiele of Gustave Lorentz. Behind at left, Muru's DRC bottles getting ready for the tasting.
We started in the early afternoon with the introduction of Alsace and Gustave Lorentz by Pascal. Of course Alsace is certainly one of the most interesting regions in the world and some of the best wines come from there for sure, I had fallen in love with Alsace since the first Alsace Gewurztraminer I had some years ago and Pascal did quite a good introduction to Alsace, how sophisticated the production and consumption of the Alsace wine, how it is a way of living, a culture, a lifestyle as itself, and the Alsace vineyards, and their own vineyards and more. A lucky man would be born in Alsace probably. I just simply love the wines of Alsace.

Well, then, we started the tasting with the Pinot Noir Rose and Pinot Noir before the whites. There is no rule that all wine tastings would start with whites, there might be some whites that need to be tasted after some light bodied red, or the line up would require such order. Today was a good example for this. The winery is producing a series of organic wines called Evidence and we had the chance to taste all of them too, together with many other Grand Crus.

What I realized in the middle of tasting that all the wines had some kind of same structure like a backbone which is mellow, elegant, like reflecting a mathematical formula, a design, a same skeleton that every other element was build on after like acidity, tannins, aromas, minerality and so on. This same skeleton that every wine has regardless of variety, is probably the signature of their winemaker Markus. Simply intelligent wines.

Pinot Noir Rose 2014: Beautiful color, red apple and slight orange peel at the nose with berry aromas. Velvety texture in the mouth, fresh with a nice acidity.

Pinot Noir Evidence 2012: Little bit different, "out of the box" Pinot Noir with its darker color and very nice fruity character. First vintage of that wine. Rather than earthy and peppery notes, a beautiful fruit is dominant at the nose and mid palate. Slightly oaked as PNs in Alsace are usually not oaked. Supple, amazingly delicious, beautiful final with heavy flavors of ripe cherry and berry aromas. Very food friendly, so to say "gastronomic". I just thought about an oven baked salmon or bonito cooked with tomatoes to match with this red right before Pascal said that it might be good with fish too. It is just so normal to consume fish with today's elegant, beautiful, velvety and light reds. This is one.

Pinot Blanc Evidence 2013: Green notes with amazing acidity, well minerality at the palate. Great wine to be served by glass in a restaurant since it is quite "an introduction wine" to Alsace. Great acidity. Told as getting a bunch of rain during the harvest. Available in Alko at the moment (surprise!!!).

Riesling Reserve Magnum 2013: Amazing parfum. Floral with daisy notes. Very satisfying with citrus and green apple notes.

Riesling Evidence 2013: Very nice tipicity at the nose. Sharp citric flavors, very high acidity. I would love it with a traditional creamy Finnish salmon soup.

Riesling Altenberg de Bergheim, Grand Cru 2008: Simply amazing wine. Even a body is possible to talk about, very fruity while having a relatively high acidity, Very distinct color, great balance. With a half an hour decanting it could be just amazing. Lemon, apple notes with floral background, it is like walking in a spring field blossoming flowers, you can hear the bees flying around. Beautiful. Intelligent.

Riesling Kanzlerberg, Grand Cru 2007: Slight stone fruits notes followed by a little honey touch, then citrus aromas take the scene again. Wonderful performance, simply joyful wine, just made up to make your day happier.

Pinot Gris Evidence 2013: Citrus flavors as a signature, in, and then s slighly smoky touch like ham, or i am too drunk, high minerality with a warm but fruity final.

Gewurztraminer Altenberg De Bergheim 2010: I just got the parfum into my nose. I instantly got a smile on my face. I simply love Gewurztraminer. Would I get married again? With the right woman maybe yes, and Gewurztraminer would be the right woman I guess. Beautiful yet strong, funny yet serious, self-confident yet humble, down-to-earth yet charismatic, honest and loyal, passionate (I mean passion fruit in case of Gewurz). This is a tasting note. Yes. After these words, you should be able to understand how the fruit, acidity, body, structure and condition of the wine are. If you dont get it, come on, get some poetry and imagination into your life, which is the same as getting a bottle of well made Gewurz for your dinner, just like Altenberg De Bergheim 2010. It is a wine that I want to swim inside. The sugar is masked so well by the acidity, which makes it sooo "gastronomic".

Pinot Gris Selection De Grains Nobles 2008: Sweet wine. Beautiful amber color. Cooked fruit aromas with caramel in the mid palate, such a velvety, joyful structure.

Gewurztraminer Selection De Grains Nobles 2007: Very classic Gewurz tipicity which is beautiful. Intense aroma of caramel and honeycomb. Oaked. Very long final with the beautiful essence of tropical fruits.

Gastronomic. it is the right word. Alsace is anyway well known of producing gastronomic wines that match with such cuisines that does not include wine in their dining culture, such as Indian, Chinese, Japanese, etc. and anyway Gustave Lorentz wines are greatly suitable for a great dining table.

I came home. Still felt like drinking something. Opened a bottle of red, no reason to say what it was, if so then it was French too, but my level of quality was so high that I just couldn't go more than half a glass, after having the very high quality wines of Gustave Lorentz, I could not enjoy that bottle I had and got a glass of water for myself. After having such well made, elegant, such beautiful, such serene wines, as the poet said "intelligent wines", then water might be the best beverage if you dont have anything to drink at least at the same level of intelligence.

By the way what is great about Restaurant Muru is that it is really a wine-driven restaurant running tastings and events every now and then, for example while we had this tasting by Finebrands, Team Muru was getting ready for a DRC tasting in the evening. Wine is not just a make-up for this team to correct their image and make money, but it is something "running" the restaurant, Samuil is doing a great job on keeping his crew, or lets say "pushing his crew" into wine, which is simply great and he takes that responsibility "to teach".

So at the moment, surprisingly(very), Alko has 3 products of Gustave Lorentz, some very recently started to be listed (Gustave Lorentz Evidence Pinot Blanc Biologique 2013, Gustave Lorentz Sylvaner Reserve 2014, Gustave Lorentz Riesling Reserve 2013). Go and check if you wanna have a idea about Gustave Lorenz. It is also available in some restaurants in Helsinki now... And Finebrands, thanks a lot, for the effort that is put in to bring such great wines to Finland. Do it.

May Alko shelves be filled with such wines like Gustave Lorentz. Greetings.