In Alsace, the term ‘Pinot Blanc’ can be used to describe wines made from any or all of the following grapes: Pinot Blanc; Auxerrois; Pinot Gris; and Pinot Noir. Weinbach’s Pinot Blanc is a blend of 70% Auxerrois and just 30% Pinot Blanc. (For the nerdier, recent studies of grape DNA fingerprints imply that Auxerrois is a cross between Gouais Blanc and Pinot Noir).
Weinbach’s blend comes from both Clos des Capucins (with 45-year-old vines) and a plot from the limestone/clay soils at the foot of the Altenbourg vineyard. As with the dry Rieslings, the Pinot Blanc was whole-bunch pressed, and was fermented and raised over eight months in large-format wood (it was previously raised in tank).
The 2019 harvest has given us a superb rendition of this wine. It opens with delicate aromas of orchard fruits and white blossom. The palate is fleshy, yet firmly structured and joyously crisp, with a crackling tension between the freshness of the acidity and the ripeness of the fruit. It’s a far more limpid and complex white wine than you might expect, and as with all the 2019 Weinbach wines, it’s very hard to drink slowly!