Today started on our Alsace Wine Tour with a visit to a winery right in Colmar: the Robert Karcher winery has been in the same location since the 1600s! It’s a medium-sized producer and although it doesn’t get rated by Parker or the Spectator, it makes a very fine line of wines from a price/quality ratio. None of the 80,000+ bottles are exported to the US so you can only get them at the winery.
We started with a delicious Crémant d’Alsace, a blend of 80% pinot blanc, 10% riesling and 10% pinot noir. It was full bodied, floral and creamy in texture and for a wine made in the traditional method, it costs under $10 a bottle. Their single vineyard riesling Harth 2010 was dry, and well-balanced with acidity and sugar. Very good varietal character for under $10. Our quest to taste as many muscat d’Alsace was again fufilled with their 2011 Harth bottling, a dry version priced at about $10.
Karcher also makes a pinot noir from the Harth vineyards and it had the characteristic cherry, red raspberry aromas and taste. Another steal at under $10.
Our tasting ended with two gewurz: the Harth 2009, a delicious wine that was full, spicy yet bone dry. This bottle was $20; our final wine was the gewurz vendanges tardives 2008. The VT wines are simply sumptuous but costly; even the reasonable Karcher came in at almost $40.
We made it to Westhaltan and the one star Michelin Cheval Blanc for lunch where we were met by our invited guest winemaker, Marc Schneider and his wife of nearby Chateau Ollwiller. Our menu was complimented perfectly by the Ollwiller Crémant d’Alsace made with 100% pinot blanc, the Clos de la Tourelle Pinot Blanc and the Grand
Cru Ollwillerriesling Chateau Old Vines. Delicious wines all of them. I met Marc just 2 weeks ago at a tasting in Boston where he was looking for an importer. The wines are very reasonably priced and it would make sense that some importer would add Ollwiller to their portfolio. We ended our meal with the 2007 Koehler VT Gewurz, the last vintage produced by the owners of the restaurant.
Here was our menu:
- Le Paté Chaud vigneron en croute
- La Cuisse de poulet fermier en fricassée de vin blanc
- Le mini Kugelhopf glacé aux griottines
- Petits Fours
We ended another delightful day with a visit to the renowned Cité de l’Automobile in Mulhouse. This is a world-class collection of over 400 beautifully restored vintage cars, mostly Bugattis.