Where does it come from:
The origin of Altesse has been the subject of some debate. It has been suggested that it's identical to Furmint, the noble Hungarian variety used to make the great sweet wine Tokaij. However others suspect that it is indigenous to the hills of Savoie. Today there are fewer than 1,000 acres under cultivation, mostly in France, though there is a small quantity in Switzerland.
What's it like for the farmer:
Altesse needs gentle care, as it is quite to susceptible to the most common forms of grape rot.
Domaine Meyer-Fonné, Pinot Gris, Alsace, France, 2012
Distributor: Winebow, 236 W. 26th St, New York, NY 10001
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As April arrives and Spring creeps (slowly) into our lives, we are coming down from the mountaintops at Blue Ribbon. While we love spending time at high altitudes, we love other wines too. So we say goodbye to mountain reds and say hello to Off-Dry White Wines.
Sugar gets a bad rap when it comes to white wine. As often as not people tend to back away from sweet wines or even sweetish wines. Sweet wines are viewed as belonging exclusively to the dessert category. However there is a whole world of wines out there with just enough sugar to make them feel a little richer and hedonistic but still delicate enough to drink with your dinner. As April plows on, we look forward to introducing you to a few.
Domaine Meyer-Fonné has been in existence since the end of the 1800s but it has really made its mark on the world since current scion Felix Meyer took over in 1992. Through meticulous farming and transparent winemaking, Felix has made this estate one of the most reliable sources of world-class Alsatian wine around. Centered in the village of Katzenthal, distinguished by a combination of sandstone and limestone soils, Meyer-Fonné produces a wide range of classically proportioned wines. But it was Felix's Pinot Gris that caught our attention recently.
Alsatian Pinot Gris has little in common with its Italian counterpart Pinot Grigio. A grape that produces relatively lean wines in Alto-Adige actually produces quite rich, even lush wines in norther France. Felix's two Pinot Gris cuvées are outstanding examples, full of round pear and yellow apple fruit. There is enough sugar in these wines that one can happy drink them with something spicy that won't overwhelm the wine, but there is also plenty of acidity to keep them fresh enough to drink next to a platter of West Coast oysters. Don't believe us? Why don't you come around this week and try it out?
Wine Director, Blue Ribbon Restaurants