Study Cards on alsace, aoc, cru

Explain the AOC Alsace regulations and the influence on style, quality and price.
AOC Alsace:
  • White 80hl/ha
  • Thirteen communes may add name to AOC Alsace
  • Pinot noir 60hl/ha
  • 80% of production
  • Single varietal wines (100% on the label)
  • Blends: edelzwicker (min 50% of noble varieties) and Gentil (only noble varieties).
For EACH of the Alsace wines listed below, describe the wine using the format of a tasting note and comment on the factors in the vineyard and in the winery that determine the style of the wine.

a) Muscat d’Alsace AC
b) Pinot Gris Grand Cru AC
c) Gewurztraminer Selection de Grains Nobles AC
d) Pinot Noir d’Alsace AC
Candidates could write a tasting note but failed to explain WHY the wines taste the way they do, and this is what this question is all about. A short plan for Pinot Gris Grand Cru could have been:

  • Climate: rainfall, ripening conditions
  • Soils: rich in clay, particles of volcanic rock
  • Grand Cru Vineyards – better aspect
  • Vine density
  • Yield – max yield, more restricted, also prone to problems with fruit set
  • Winery – whole bunch press, reduce skin contact, ferment in stainless steel or large, old oak asks (retains aromatics), maturation on lees (gives complexity)
Describe the Vendange Tardive and Selection de Grains Nobles regulations of the Alsace. What is the influence on the style, quality and price?
  • Both Alsace AOC and GC may add VT or SdGN on the label
  • Solely from the four noble varieties
  • minimum sugar levels at harvest required. 14-15% abv if fermented dry
  • VT: no requirement to have botrytis affected fruit or to be sweet. Chaptalization is forbidden
  • SG: must be made from botrytis affected grapes and be sweet, produced in outstanding vintages
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