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Marc Tempe Alliance 2005, Alsace

April 18, 2008

~$15US, Alsace, White Blend

I thoroughly the support practice of biodynamic (uber-organic) viticulture as a means of creating wines that capture a more interesting footprint than their conventionally farmed competition. The practice of bionaymanie gained a strong foothold early on in the Loire Valley and Burgundy regions, and has spread like wildfire throughout Europe and the New World. I like to look at the practice as yielding a clearer, more transparent window into the wine.

Marc Tempe’s Alsace domaine (just under 20 acres) has been farmed biodynamically since it’s genesis in the early 90s. The Alliance is his entry-level field-blend combining (at the very least) Gewurztraminer, Riesling, and Tokay/Pinot Gris into a light-golden dry wine. Aromatically, the Gewurtztraminer gives an interesting tropical fruit-driven character, supported by dried-flowers. Light on the palate, the wine has a driving, laser-focused acidity and great purity which it pulls off as a blend by stressing the high-toned quality of the fruits (white peach, lemon/lime, bitter melon) rather than their individual nuances. Very Linenear. It’s zesty and refreshing and naturally fermented to bone-dry, making this a great summer choice with fish, soft cheeses and salads.

The wine comes in at a great quality for the price (especially for a biodynamic wine) – but there is some stiff competition in this price range for terroir-driven-fresh-whites via Austrian Gruners, Trocken Rieslings, and Loire Muscadets. I’m totally happy with another wine choice in this class (which is probably the class of wines I get most excited about right now ) and the great aromatics, clean fruit, and blend of the Alliance give it a unique sense of place and class.

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