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Riesling Alsace, Martin Zahn 2009

Riesling Alsace, Martin Zahn 2009

In Alsace, Riesling is considered 'king' due to its finesse and longevity and this wine is worthy testament to the lengthy and rich traditions of this white grape variety which originated in the Rhine region of Germany. It has excellent depth of flavour and a dry, superbly balanced palate.
Martin Zahn
Drink now + 3 years
The Alsace region of France

With its chocolate box landscape and classy wines, France’s north eastern region of Alsace is a jewel in the French winemaking crown. Even if it does sit right on the border with Germany and has several Germanic sounding locations, if you could cut the region open, you would see it is French through and through.

One of Alsace’s most famous claims is its uniquely dry climate and its cities have some of the lowest rainfall records in France meaning that its vines rarely suffer from any form of disease which means most of its wines are dry in style.

The best Alsace wines (they hate being described as Alsatian!), are made from four key grape varieties, all of which are white. It is from these four grapes – Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer and Muscat – that the highest appellation of Grand Cru wines can be made. The most common red variety you will see is Pinot Noir.

Although not the most fashionable of regions, for wine experts, Alsace wines are held in particularly high regard; their fine mineral structure, the elegant fruit and their huge ability to pair well with food, especially with fashionable Asian cuisine, works very much in Alsace’s favour.

A fruity, aromatic grape that is widely planted around the world, Riesling tends to split opinion more than any other varietal. It retains its acidity and ripens late, making it a perfect match for late harvest wine. Unlike Chardonnay it doesn’t have a close affiliation with Oak, with many arguing that with its distinctive fruit it doesn’t need any flavouring.

In cool climates Riesling can have a very fresh grape and apple fruit character, and the high natural acidity is often balanced with some sugar. Late harvested grapes from cool climates, or those harvested in warmer climes, result in more citrus and peach fruit notes. Some Australian Rieslings have a distinct lime fruit character.

As mentioned above Riesling is planted all over the world, although its traditional home is Germany, followed by Alsace. Marlborough is now producing some superb Riesling wines, with Australia and Chile also helping the Riesling varietal come back into fashion.

Salads & Vegetables
A great match for this wine would be a feta or green salad but it would go equally well with a light seafood or mozzarella salad and a Salade Nicoise.
Fish & Seafood
Pair this wine with clam chowder or mussels and oysters. It also works well with halibut, herring and trout and we recommend you try prawns for good measure.
Pasta & Other Sauces
A very light olive oil and fish based sauce would work well with this wine. Try it with spaghetti 'alla marinara' or 'alle vongole'.
Generally this wine is too light for most meats.
Herbs & Spices
The delicate seasonings of chives, coriander, dill, fennel, tarragon and parsley would complement this wine.
Spicy Foods
We wouldn't recommend pairing this wine with anything spicy as the flavours would overwhelm a wine like this.
Very mild flavoured cheeses such as cream cheese, feta, halloumi, mozzarella and ricotta would work best with this wine. 
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