If I told you the grape variety that had made the most impression on me during last year's trip to Alsace was sylvaner you'd probably say I was nuts. Maybe, but it struck me as crazy that Alsace producers don't do more to promote their perfect introductory wine, a variety that they could call their own. It could be Alsace's answer to grüner veltliner.
The very charming PR for the CIVA, Foulques Aulagnon obviously thought I was slightly bonkers too but indulged my eccentricity by sending me a case of six sylvaners to try at the end of last year. Most have been enjoyable but the one we had last night from Domaine Bernhard & Reibel was in a different league - a crisp, fruity wine with a lovely lingering minerality.
I have to admit it gave me no small pleasure to discover the domaine was certified organic and follows biodynamic practices.
It's an indication of how little people rate sylvaner that you can't find it in the UK but only the domaine's riesling (from Stone, Vine & Sun). Maybe - who knows - this will make SVS think about bringing over a bit of sylvaner too. It's the perfect summer aperitif and great with delicately spiced food.