March 31, 2012

A shared obsession with petrol

We share a passion, Max and I. A passion for the substance with the too long name, 1,1,6-trimethyl-1,2-dihydronaphthalene. Fortunately, the nickname is shorter; TDN. Prefer the latter. 

“Rich fruit, lemon and a lot of petrol. Medium bodied, distinct acidity, concentrated, lemon, petrol, some honey, good length.”  Max analysed the wine in his glass and continued, “Will continue to develop nicely over the next ten years I guess. And that magnificent petroleum. Great wine!” 

Max had shut his eyes, delighted. There was a big smile on his face. I had nothing to add to his account. Just nodding. 

The wine was a Hugel Jubilée Riesling 2007. A good choice for illustrating the petrol character often found in Alsacian Riesling. 

We were sitting in Max kitchen. He had phoned me some days before and asked me to come over. He wanted to try a few wines before a tasting. Max is always so thorough in his preparations, at least when it comes to wine. 

We both love great Riesling. Preferably a few years old, with an evolved nose of petrol. Often the great ones, the ones with a distinct petrol character, origin from Alsace. 

Isn't it strange that some people think TDN is a fault? We love it. Are obsessed with it. Look for the bottles with potential, put them in the cellar and wait, wait, wait. Ten years later, or more, we get a great reward.

Luckily for us, there are many distinguished producers in Alsace.

Alsacian vineyard (Gustave Lorentz).
One favourite , which we often return to, is the Altenberg de Bergheim from Gustave Lorentz.

Marcel Deiss, Josmeyer and Trimbach are also on the top list. But there are many more.

Longing for the next visit…

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