Alsace in Ontario - Konzelmann's Pinot Blanc

May 3, 2010

Yesterday, my step-brother, his girlfriend and I wandered out into Niagara-on-the-Lake to do some white wine tasting. We had drank heavily the night before but surprisingly, after six shots of Cognac and three glasses of wine, I didn't feel the hurt (actually, I was at the gym around 10 am so maybe wine is truly 100% good for me). 

We headed to Cattail Creek (highly recommend their Rieslings and Chardonnay), Hillebrand (their Sauvignon Blanc is the closest to a California Fume) and Konzelmann. 

For white wines, Konzelmann is a must and with spring here and summer poking its head, they make some of the best patio sippers in Niagara. 

I always buy something at Konzelmann. Along with Chateau des Charmes, Inniskillin and Reif, you can't beat the great value these wineries offer. 

Jeremy served us at Konzelmann and we had a great time mispronouncing all the wine names. Mer-lot,.Pee-not Blank. Cab-er-net Sav-ig-non.  But he knows his wine and he brought out a bottle of their 2008 Pinot Blanc. He mentioned the wine had been getting some excellent press and that a prestigious restaurant in New York City were selling them at $38.00/bottle. I had to try it. 

For those getting into wine and looking to move beyond Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc is one of the main grapes grown in Alsace and throughout Southern German where it is known as Weisburgunder (pronounced vice-ber-gunder). Whereas Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris can have a metallic and often oily-apple character, I find Pinot Blanc tend to lean towards white flower and stone fruits.

Konzelmann's 2008 Pinot Blanc is perhaps one of the most impressive whites I've had in a long time. The nose is lovely with an apricot-honey aura and on the palate, there are peaches, lemon, pear with just a hint of mineral. The acidity is just right, not too tart, not too flat and the finish is bright and tangy.    

I bought a bottle (along with their Shiraz - another must) and early this evening cracked it open after the rain. The sun is out now and I'm still sipping this wine. 

For just over a eleven dollars a bottle, it is well worth the trip to Konzelmann or your local LCBO. You would be hard pressed to find a wine from Alsace with the same character at the same price. An ideal wine with mussels and oysters, seafood dishes and white pizza (especially with Kalamata olives and artichokes).

I'm sure this wine won't be around once the word gets out.


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My focus is mainly on wine culture, history and education. I love the stories behind wine - the people, places and the regional personalities of the wine-countries around the world.

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