Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Barth Rene Pinot Blanc Vignoble de Bennwihr `04 AOC $12.99 (not TJ's) ***

For the past few days, it has been all things mountainous.  It was fitting, now that we were back at sea level, to have this bottle of Vin d'Alsace

Arriving after a 5 hour drive that involved a hot-dog, apple cider doughnuts and Mountain Dew, we were greeted with amazing meal of Veal Paprikash, Spätzle, warm spinach salad and an open bottle of Barth Rene Pinot Blanc.  What a great way to end a road trip!

This bottle is a modern take on a crisp, classic wine.  It had a slightly acidic green apple flavor, with an after taste of pear.  Not too sweet, but it has a finish that lingers (that is, until you have your next sip).  As we were eating at Granny and Grandpa's, I was too distracted to study the label. (After S. & I finished off the second bottle, by then, I wasn't really ready to start dissecting the label AT ALL.)

Tipsiness not withstanding, I can assuredly say that this is a great "alternative" white wine - alternative to run of the mill chardonnay that is. Yes, it is a screw top but that helps you to save money - if it had a cork in it, it would have much more and the taste would be the same. I am all about the convenience and taste.  Let's leave the ceremony of uncorking for formal meals. It is variety and pairing that shine in this wine.  With our delicious dinner, we had a bit of France on the table.  It wasn't overly expensive, it balanced the subtlety of the veal quite well, with a slight acid that enhanced the spinach, and well, it was easy to drink.

As I was reading about this wine, I found that it is a family business.  The current winemaker is Michel Fonné who took over the vineyard in Bennwihr, Alsace from his uncle, René Barth.  I think that he has tapped into the American market with quality and price point.  I can't wait to try more of his wines. 

Here is the sunset that preceded our dinner.  
As we were speeding down I-91S, I looked to my right and saw this.  
There was just enough time to grab my Blackberry and snap a picture. 

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