5 Alsatian Beauties from Gustave Lorentz
Gustave Lorentz is family-owned Alsatian Winery whose history dates back to 1836. All these years later the winery is still family-owned and operated. Today it’s Georges Lorentz, representing the sixth generation of the family, running the show. Grapes for their wines come from a combination of their own property, they have 81 acres under vine, and fruit purchased through a partnership with about a hundred other local growers. I recently tasted through quite a few of their current releases and here’s a look at five exceptional ones that stood out for me.
Gustave Lorentz 2012 Pinot Blanc Reserve was produced using hillside fruit grown and hand-harvested in Bergheim, Germany. Fermentation and aging took place in stainless steel vats. 12,500 cases of this wine were produced and it has a suggested retail price of $18.99. Apricot and mango aromas are underscored by lemon and grapefruit zest. The palate is dominated by rich tropical and stone fruit flavors; yellow melon is present as well. Bits of tangerine, mesquite honey, and citrus are all present on the finish which has terrific length. This is a surprising wine for the price. The aromas and flavors are so captivating they suck you right in and beg you to keep drinking. While it’ll pair well with food, I loved this wine most all by itself.
Gustave Lorentz 2012 Riesling Reserve was also produced from fruit sourced in the village of Bergheim. Fermentation took place using a combination of native and select yeasts. Aging followed in stainless steel tanks over a period of six months. 10,000 cases of this offering were produced and it has a suggested retail price of $22.99. The nose here features a mélange of citrus zest aromas which work together well. The palate is even-keeled, featuring white fruit flavors that lean towards the tart side of the spectrum. Lemon ice and grapefruit are of note and they’re joined by tart green apple. White melon, continued citrus and white pepper are all in evidence on the finish which has good length. This is an incredibly refreshing and crisp wine that will excel when paired with lighter foods.
Gustave Lorentz 2012 Gewürztraminer Reserve was made from fruit sourced in hillside vineyards. After fermentation, the wine was racked twice prior to five months of aging in a tank. 2,725 cases of this wine were produced and it has a suggested retail price of $24.99. Apricot and lychee fruit aromas jump from the lively nose of this Gewürztraminer. White and yellow peach flavors, apricot, and yellow delicious apple are all present on the layered, somewhat intense palate. Roasted nuts such as almond and hazelnut emerge on the long finish which also has terrific fruitiness along with bits of honey and white pepper. This wine is a revelation when paired with highly flavored Caribbean cuisine.
Gustave Lorentz 2010 Riesling “Burg” is a single vineyard effort. This vineyard is located close to the Grand Cru Kanzlerberg vineyard. A mere 300 cases of this wine were produced and it has a suggested retail price of $33.99. White flowers, lemon zest, and tangerine aromas emerge from the big and bold nose of this 2010 riesling. The palate is rich and concentrated with stone and citrus fruit dominating, while a touch of tropical fruit by way of papaya provides an undercurrent of additional flavor. Apricot and nectarine lead the lengthy finish which is loaded with persistent mineral and spice notes. Roast pork loin topped with an apple compote would be a perfect accompaniment to this exceptional riesling. This is a wine you’ll want to take care not to over-chill. Serving it a few degrees warmer than the average white really allows its charming layers to emerge.
Gustave Lorentz 2011 Pinot Gris “Schofweg” is a single vineyard wine. The vines overlook a plain and sit in limestone rich soils. Just 350 cases of this wine were produced and it has a suggested retail price of $34.99. Dried peach aromas are present on the nose of this wine. Apricot leads a bevy of stone fruit flavors on a concentrated and powerful palate that is studded with appealing and sweet-leaning fruit flavors. Mesquite honey and spices galore are part of the pleasing finish. This Pinot gris is a delight all by itself. It also works really, really well with stinky cheeses. I would expect this wine to age particularly well over the next decade, so don’t hesitate to lay it down.
Gustave Lorentz makes a lovely portfolio of wines. Even the five above, which are only a portion of their offerings, provide a window into the versatile wines they’re producing. The large production wines like the Pinot Blanc Reserve are widely available and priced for regular drinking. These are workhorse wines you can go to again and again. The smaller-production single-vineyard labels are worth the additional effort and expense to acquire. They would certainly be appropriate wines for a special occasion.