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Tasting the Alsace Region's Dopff & Irion Wines

Dopff & Irion Wines

Photo Credit: Dopff & Irion

Since the Renaissance, wine making has thrived throughout France's Alsace region, particularly in the Village of Riquewihr. Its moniker “Pearl of the Alsace” celebrates a fabled wine making heritage, as well as the village's unchanging layout and overall appearance since the Middle Ages. Founder Rene Dopff joined fortunes with the widowed Madame Irion in 1945, establishing Dopff & Irion. Dopff then took over the historic Chateau de Riquewihr built in 1549, originally owned by the Princes of Wurtemberg who ruled over the city and region for five centuries.

Dopff & Irion Wines
Photo Credit: Dopff & Irion

Revolutionary at the time, Dopff's wine making approach focused on terroir rather specific varietals by dividing the Château's 68 vineyard acres into four distinct estates naming them Les Murailles, Les Sorcières, Les Maquisards and Les Amandiers. Each estate to this day focuses on a single grape variety best suited to its micro terroir made possible due to the differing soil types and climates situated within close proximity to each other. Soon Dopff supplied wines to high profile clients like the Palais de l’Elysée and the French President’s residence. Now you too can taste the Alsace's finest starting with these bottles:

Dopff & Irion Wines
Photo Credit: Steve Mirsky

Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé

To make the Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé, entire clusters of Pinot Noir grapes are conveyored on a belt to the press keeping berries intact. The must is kept at low temperatures and matured in a vat for nearly six months before bottling. A blend of sugar and yeasts (liqueur de tirage) is added to provoke a second bottle fermentation. Storing the Crémant horizontally on laths 12-15 months before disgorging the sweet liqueur eliminates yeast deposits showcasing its dry, elegant style. Like Champagne, this Crémant isn't derived from any particular vintage which allows blending from different years ensuring consistent flavor profiles and quality.

Pink in the glass with tinges of orange, a bouquet full of red berry fruit permeates the nose. Restrained fruit sugars make for a more refined tasting experience of even limestone effervescence yielding a bite of cranberry with complex citrus fruitiness on the palate complemented by sweet strawberry and a creamy mouth feel. As a refined aperitif or cocktail wine, ideal serving temperature is between 45-46°F but can be appreciated up to 50°F.

Dopff & Irion Wines
Photo Credit: Steve Mirsky

Dopff & Irion Cuvée René Dopff Pinot Blanc 2016

Made from 50 percent Pinot Blanc and 50 percent Pinot Auxerrois, grapes for the Dopff & Irion Cuvée René Dopff Pinot Blanc 2016 are entirely handpicked and gently extracted via low pressure pressing at controlled temperatures. Wine is matured on fine lees for four months, filtered, and stored in stainless steel vats for several months before bottling.

You get a luminous, pure gold hue with crisp sweet apple and honeydew melon nectar notes. A refreshing mouth feel light on the chalkiness and well balanced acidity on the palate is delivered by fine, light bubbles. Bracing minerality quickly recedes to honey, spicy cardamom-pepper and citrus fruit for an ebullient finish. Prime pairing opportunities include curry based dishes, grilled chicken, fish and goat cheeses.

Dopff & Irion Wines
Photo Credit: Steve Mirsky

Dopff & Irion Crustacés 2015

The Dopff & Irion Crustacés 2015 is produced with 80 percent Sylvana and 20 percent Pinot Blanc handpicked grapes grown in limestone clay soil by Dopff & Irion's 300 selected vine-growers. Immediate pressing and a six-month maturation in tanks before bottling ensures freshness throughout the tasting experience.

Pure and crisp on the nose, and golden in appearance, a bright minerality enlivens the palate with light, spicy fruit, well balanced with zing and sweetness. Pairing with lobster unlocks the nutty characteristics enlivening and broadening the flavor profile of this crustacean while still carrying fruity notes into the finish.

Steve Mirsky

I firmly believe that distinctive cuisine and life-changing travel experiences are best savored by those driven by curiosity rather than solely on the recommendations of wine connoisseurs, gourmands, and jet setters. Classic hotels, signature boutique properties, and epic dining experiences provide some of the best opportunities for an authentic introduction to new cultures and cuisine. I shar...(Read More)

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