What's new in Alsace: Part 1 - Domaine Geschickt

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Today we offer the first installment in a series of emails meant to shed light on the dynamic wines and winemakers of Alsace, with a focus on producers who work organically and biodynamically in the vineyards and with little or no added sulfites in the cellar. Our spotlight today is on Domaine Geschickt in Ammerschwihr. The estate was started by Bernadette Meyer and Jérôme Geschickt in the 1950s, and has been carried on by the affable Frédéric Geschickt, who took over the in 1993 and converted to organic and biodynamic farming in 1998.

In a visit to Alsace earlier this year, I was delighted to find many long-time organic and biodynamic estates, steeped in the traditions of the past, but also fully embracing of what some might call a new trend of "natural" winemaking. Domaine Geshickt is a prime example. Frédéric produces classic Alsatian wines, some from the Grand Cru sites of Kaefferkopf and Wineck-Schlossberg, and at the same time has been experimenting with Pet-Nats (methode ancestrale sparkling wines), skin macerated whites (or "orange" wines), and vinifications without added sulfites. All of the wines have impressive mineral depth, and great acidity, thanks to decades of biodymamic farming that have helped to express the terroir of Ammerschwihr, rich in calcium and magnesium, with subsoils of granite, limestone, chalk and sandstone (did we mention Alsace has an outrageous variety of soil types?). When I first tasted the wines, I tried 11 different cuvées, some clean and precise, others a bit opaque and "funky," and I can truthfully say I was impressed with each and every one!

During my trip to Alsace, I spent some time chatting with Frédéric while tasting, and shared some great moments over wine and tarte flambee with his nephew Arnaud, who joined the domaine in 2012, and their friend Aurelie Fayolle, who joined in 2013 as business director. Maybe it's the sunny weather, or something in the wine, but they were all amazingly gratious, funny, open and warm people. There's this sense that they are very focused and intentional with their farming and their approach to winemaking, but also open-minded and relaxed, and they don't seem to take themselves too seriously. It turned out that every winemaker I visited while in the region shared these qualities, which makes sharing their wines with you a real joy! 

So, welcome to the new Alsace! We hope you enjoy the wines as much as we do, and make sure to keep your eyes out for our next installment. 

-Eben Lillie 

P.S. for more info on Geschickt, check out their website at geschickt.fr

 

Geschickt NV Cremant d'Alsace Double Zero (no dosage/no adde

Double zero stands for zero dosage and zero sulfites added. This Cremant d'Alsace is a blend of Riesling and Pinot Blanc, and is typically aged 3 years sur latte before disgorgement. It's dry and refreshing, and has a remarkable rejuvenating effect. Subtle on the nose, but very complex on the palate, with a long, mineral finish.  -Eben Lillie

  • white sparkling
  • 20 in stock
  • no discount
  • $24.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur
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Geschickt NV Vin d'Alsace Obi Wine Pet Nat (Pinot Auxerr

There are a slew of delicious Pet-Nats emerging from Alsace, as younger generations experiment with the newly popular "methode ancestrale." The Geschickt version is 100% Pinot Auxerrois, and will be an instant hit with fans of saisons and farmhouse ales, and an eyebrow raiser for wine aficionados. It's totally dry, and a bit opaque, but clean and direct. There's a hint of pineapple on the palette, and perfect acidity carrying the fine bubbles. The mouthfeel is soft and gentle and finish is subtle. Just an all around fun wine and the new kid on the block for all you thirsty pet-nat drinkers.   **fun note: there is apparently also a pet nat made by Jean Ginglinger called the "Dark Nat" that is part of a funny joke between Geschickt and Ginglinger - to me it was a look into how awesome the winemaker community is in Alsace. **  Eben Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • $21.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Geschickt 2016 Vin d'Alsace 'Phenix' Maceration Pinot Gris

This is a maceration of Pinot Gris (with a tiny percentage of Gewurtztraminer) from the Grand Cru Kaefferkopf vineyard. We literally can't seem to keep this on the shelf here at Chambers, as people are drawn to the color and curiosity takes over. Luckily the wine is not just an eye catcher - it's also really good! Maceration is over one month, and there's a substantial amount of color extracted from their ripe Pinot Gris skins, along with a perfect level of grip. Wild and funky on the nose (sauerkraut?), with perhaps a gram or two of residual sugar that carries the pretty fruit over the tannin. There's great balance here, and the wine stays solid for days, developing a more mellowed out and delicate side on day two that I almost prefer.   Eben Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $26.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Geschickt 2015 Vin d'Alsace Riesling

This is a complex dry Riesling, and truly a fantastic wine for the money. There are layers of tropical fruit (guava, mango) on the nose, spice, floral notes, and a bit of fleshiness on the palate. A touch opaque in the glass, with great texture in mouth and a ethereal finish. I recently shared this with a number of different people, including some "untrained" wine drinkers, and it was a unanimous hit. It's a very special wine posing as a"basic" Riesling.   Eben Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $21.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur

Geschickt 2014 Vin d'Alsace Grand Cru Kaefferkopf

When I was in Alsace, I visited our friend Christian Binner, and he told me about a long tradition in Alsace of making wines from a particular site, that were not varietal, but instead blends, meant to highlight the unique terroir of each vineyard - and in particular the Grand Crus.  Christian once asked his father about an old bottle in the family cellar that simply said "Ammerschwihr" and his father responded "oh your grandfather used to do that... don't worry about it." Along with a handful of other winemakers in Alsace, including Geschickt, there has been a newfound interest in this Alsatian tradition, and I'm personally very fascinated with it. The Grand Cru Kaefferkopf is 60% Gewurtztraminer, 30% Riesling, and 10% Pinot Gris. It's beautifully balanced, dry, and earthy. Kaefferkopf is technically a slope of clay and limestone, but there is a unique granite fault running through the vineyard, which I think dons a particular stony minerality to the wine. I find this is a nice opportunity to reflect on the way terroir affects the mineral character of a wine, and I'm glad there are more of these wines being produced again.  Open ahead of time, or decant!  Eben Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $34.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur