Like 2010 in much of France, Alsace saw an excellent harvest that produced wines with great concentration and focus, balanced by beautiful acidity and freshness.
The previous winter was cold and long, extending into early March. Bud break was pushed back, and a hard freeze caused damage to some vines. April remained cool but temperatures rose in May allowing the vines to progress. Flowering was late nonetheless, and a swift temperature drop during this crucial period caused further crop loss from millerandage and coulure.
The erratic weather continued into June, which saw a major hot, dry spell during its last week. July was hot, with periods of storms and rain. August was back to wet and cold, and fighting off disease became critical due to the spread of oidium and mildew. At this point in the season the grapes were behind in the ripening cycle. This turned out to be a boon, however, as the grapes felt less impact from potentially damaging rainstorms.
Finally, at the end of August the weather improved, and remained consistent through October. Temperatures slowly tapered off and drying, cool north winds allowed a long hang-time for the grapes, helping to keep sugar and acid in balance.
The resulting wines are focused and intense, with good ripe fruit and brilliant acidity and should have the structure and depth to age well. A classic vintage with many superb wines, but unfortunately a small crop and one that may have some variation given the uneven and crazy weather during the season.
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.