Some people in our group called him the best wine presenter they had ever met! That’s quite a compliment from people who have travelled the wine world and met many, many wine makers. But Philippe Blanck is a special person. His winery, named after his father Paul Blanck, is in the tiny picturesque village of Kientzheim. Philippe spent the entire morning with us, first by taking us on a walking tour to visit the vineyards and then by conducting a superb wine tasting in the 16th century family wine cellar. Philippe has an engaging personality that is very inclusive and non-condescending. Everyone loved him- and his wines too!
First we started with the 2012 Muscat d’Alsace, a wine with affinities to Viognier: full body, with primary fruit aromas of peach and apricot. From there we moved to the 2009 Rosenbourg Riesling, a wine with strong minerality and citrus flavors.
We continued with 3 Grand Cru Rieslings: the 2009 Schlossberg again with strong minerality, and a round, ripe texture; the 2009 Sommerberg from old vines that received a 91 from Robert Parker and there were only 900 bottles produced; the 2007 Furstentum grown on limestone; definite honey apricot flavors and aromas and vanilla flavors that comes from the tannins. Philippe gave us a great tip: pour white wine from one glass to another because it oxygenates the wine and enhances the flavors ; the 2008 Furstentum Gewurztramier again from old vines with a cornucopeia of flavors.
We ended our great tasting with the Gewurz Furstentum 2008 redolent with ginger and spice aromas and flavors.
From there we went to the nearby village of Kaysersberg to have lunch at the Lion d’Or where by coincidence Philippe was having lunch with a group of friends. We had a traditional Alsatian lunch of choucroute garnie and kougelopf.
This was followed by a visit to a munster producer where we learned about the production of this indigenous cheese, followed by a visit to the Miclo distillery for a very nice lesson on the production of eau de vie followed of course by a tasting of any of their products.
Everyone had a very nice smile on their faces as we took the short drive back to our hotel.