Two Wines from Dopff & Irion, Alsace

Dopff & Irion is based in the beautiful village of Riquewihr in Franco-Germanic Alsace; the vineyards are now four estates, created by René Dopff in 1945: Les Murailles, Les Sorcières, Les Maquisards and Les Amandiers, each with a single variety planted.

The domaine sent me two wines to review: they make an oddly sensuous / nervy couple; the big blowsy Gewurz and the lean, limey Riesling – a bit like Hattie Jacques and Kenneth Williams in Carry On Matron.

Dopff & Irion Les Sorcières 2008

Varietal Gewurztraminer, this is deep golden sandy colour in the glass, it has an intense, complex, perfumed nose of lychees, rose petals, beeswax and sweet spice.

On the palate, there is more ripe exotic tropical and citrus fruit, varietal perfume of acacia and heather with clear, fresh acidity, honeyed sweetness, spice and a touch of bitter grapefruit, orange oil and hints of savoury yeastiness.

The texture is waxy and mouthfilling with weightiness from residual sugar (a generous 23g/l).

Match with gravadlax with dill and a honey and mustard vinagrette.

Dopff & Irion Les Murailles 2008

Varietal Riesling, golden in the glass; on the nose classic aged petrolly aromas, with complex white flower blossom, mineral and honey.

The palate is ripe and limey – like lime marmalade – with mouthwatering linear acidity and candied lemon peel, offset by a touch of steeliness and minerality.

Long on the palate and good savoury underpinnings with lime zest and persistence on the finish. Potential for further aging.

Match with seafood, such as char-grilled squid rings, or herby roast pork.

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About Tom Lewis

Tom Lewis is a wine writer and educator from Cambridge with a particular interest in Austria and France. His comments have been published on, Local Wine Events, as well as in the local press in his hometown of Cambridge, UK. When it comes to buying wine, Tom’s philosophy is to buy as close as possible to where it comes from. He writes a regular blog, the Cambridge Wine Blogger which launched in 2009 and is a presenter for the Cambridge Food and Wine Society. To read more of Tom’s work, please check out
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