2009 was an excellent vintage in Alsace that produced lovely, ripe wines with great concentration and depth. The previous winter was mild and very dry, and bud-break got off to an early start when spring arrived. Ample rain and warm temperatures in May kept the vines’ progress moving at a good clip, and there was a hot spell in late May that set records. Early ripening sites finished flowering before the end of the month, but others got caught out in early June when temperatures dropped dramatically.
July was about average in terms of rainfall and temperature, and the stage was set for a good-sized, early harvest. August was mostly hot and dry, and veraison took place in good conditions, compressed and even, which made up for some of the disparity in bunches from the split flowering in June.
Ripening slowed at some sites in the weeks leading up to harvest, as hot, dry conditions put stress on the vines. Many growers worried about acidities dropping and picked on the early side to keep the wines fresh. As a result, many of the 2009s show slightly lower acidity than the 2008s. Warm days and cool nights returned in mid September, allowing other growers to pick over a wide window for optimal ripeness. Grapes came in healthy with no damage from rot or disease.
About Domaine Paul Blanck
Operating out of the village of Kintzheim, Domaine Paul Blanck puts out a staggering array of bottlings from its 36 hectares of vines across six different villages (including five Grand Cru vineyards).
Ranges from dry to sweet, but deeply aromatic in all styles
Munster cheese, pork, goose, spicy Asian food
One of the wine world's love-it-or-hate-it grapes, Gewürztraminer is for many wine lovers the signature variety of Alsace. Its highly perfumed aromas of rose petal, smoked meat, lychee, grapefruit, and spices are immediate and captivating, although some examples lack refinement and seem a bit blowzy owing to low acidity and high alcohol. Gewürztraminer is as unlike the steelier, more aristocratic Riesling as a white grape can be. No other region of the world has been able to produce significant quantities of Gewürztraminer that even approach the decadent richness and exotic fruit qualities that the best producers in Alsace achieve. Still, other than late-harvest versions, Gewürztraminer is normally a dry wine in Alsace, despite smelling like a sweet one. Gewürztraminer marries beautifully with rich, fatty dishes like pork and goose or ripe cheeses, as well as with the exotic spices of Moroccan, Indian, and Far Eastern cuisines.