Alsace white wine fans take note. Just in time for holiday celebrations and dinners, father and son winegrowers Bernard and Alexandre Schoffit of Colmar offer three terrific wines with contrasting styles. All are ready for immediate enjoyment and available through Weygandt Wines in Washington, D.C. Pennsylvania’s PLCB Premium Collection stores also offer two of the wines.
The 2006 Domaine Schoffit, Clos Saint-Théobald, Gewurztraminer Sélection de Grains Noble, Rangen Grand Cru is a singular, well-balanced sweet wine that will enliven any special meal. The 2014 Domaine Schoffit, Pinot Gris, Lieu-Dit Harth “Tradition,” Alsace is a deliciously fresh and versatile food friendly wine. And the 2014 Domaine Schoffit, Gewurztraminer, “Cuvée Caroline,” Lieu-Dit Harth “Tradition,” Alsace offers a classic off-dry but fresh wine perfect for holiday fare. .
Following in his father Robert’s footsteps, Bernard Schoffit has for over twenty five years relentlessly worked to push the quality of Domaine Schoffit’s wines to new heights. He follows a “sustainable” approach in the vineyards and sparingly applies treatments on the vines only when absolutely necessary to protect the crop. Reducing yields enhances concentration and complexity in the wines.
Alexandre studied telecommunications in France and then obtained an international business certificate from the University of California-Irvine. He returned to Domaine Schoffit in 2010 to work side-by-side with Bernard in the vineyards and in the winery. Alexandre also promotes international recognition for the wines.
Together Bernard and Alexandre make a formidable team, producing about 100,000 bottles annually. In recognition of their work, in 2015 Domaine Schoffit was invited to join other leading producers in forming the Association of Alsace Crus et Terroirs or “ACT,” a group dedicated to setting standards for excellence and communicating the quality of Alsace terroirs to an international audience.
A large part of Domaine Schoffit’s sterling reputation rests on its vines in Clos Saint-Théobald vineyard, located as shown in the opening photo above in the magnificent Rangen Grand Cru in Thann. As a young winegrower, Bernard pursued a then risky strategy of purchasing and painstakingly reclaiming 6.5 acres of terraced vines on Rangen Grand Cru’s sheer, volcanic slopes. Today Rangen ranks as one of Alsace’s greatest Grand Crus.
The Schoffits and their team relentlessly work the Rangen vineyard with passionate attention to detail. Stunning wines result. The sweet, yet marvelously fresh 2006 Domaine Schoffit, Clos Saint-Théobald, Gewurztraminer Sélection de Grains Noble, Rangen Grand Cru (available from Weygandt Wines for $65) comes from individually selected berries affected by Botrytis cinerea mold. The famous “noble rot” shrivels berries to highlight essential seductive aromas and saturated, complex flavors. Delicious flavors of honey, tropical fruit and citrus linger endlessly on the palate.
As Bernard Schoffit aptly noted, “When you taste a wine like this, you’re happy you worked so hard to make it.”
The father and son lavish similar care on the domaine’s vineyards near the winery in Colmar. The grapes for the 2014 Domaine Schoffit, Pinot Gris, Lieu-Dit Harth “Tradition,” Alsace (available from either Weygandt Wines for $24 or in Pennsylvania at PLCB Luxury Code: 44959 for $22.99) come from a single well-placed vineyard basking in Colmar’s sunny days and cool nights in lingering Autumn weather. The fruit ripens fully while retaining awesome, fresh acidity. This is a “gastronomic” style Pinot Gris with pure fruity citrus aromas and ripe peach flavors balanced by rich acidity and an essentially dry finish. Enjoy it either as a delicious aperitif with savory bites or with pan-seared, panko-crusted turbot with melted butter and shallots.
The 2014 Domaine Schoffit, Gewurztraminer, “Cuvée Caroline,” Lieu-Dit Harth Tradition, Alsace (available from either Weygandt Wines for $22 or in Pennsylvania at PLCB Luxury Code: 44958 for $24.99) comes from low-yielding, fifty-year old vines that provide exquisite grapes. The Schoffits ferment the hand- picked grapes in stainless steel to preserve intense aromas of pineapples and roses. On the palate, rich, ripe pineapple, honey and peach flavors balance with zesty acidity and mouthwatering mineral notes.The wine finishes off-dry but well balanced. Pair it with classic New Year’s Day choucroute simmered in white wine and garnished with sausages, ham hocks and potent horseradish. Cheers!.