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Alsace

Lying on the border with Germany, Alsace is one of the most unique wine regions in all of France. Unlike most French regions, their wines are varietal labelled to distinguish their wines from one another as they all share only two appellations – Alsace AOC and Alsace Grand Cru AOC. Also unique to this region, their varieties tend to be notably aromatic and are almost all white – Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurtztraminer and Muscat are their four “noble” grapes, followed by several others including Pinot Blanc, Sylvaner, Chasselas, Auxerrois with small amounts of Chardonnay. Pinot Noir is its only red grape, which is used to make lighter styled wines. The whites range from dry to off-dry to sweet as botrytis can be plentiful in the region (like Sauternes) and produce both late harvest wines as well as their most expensive dessert wines called “selection des grains nobles” or SGNs. While German whites have become drier over the years, Alsacian wines have actually become sweeter. In order to help understand sweetness levels in wines, producers such as Zind-Humbrecht have listed “indices” (or “hints”) on their bottles – 1 for their driest which progressing increase to 5 for their sweetest. ...
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