Monday, 19 July 2010

Becker Grand Cru Froehn Riesling 2001

After a roast dinner earlier in the day we only wanted a snack supper last night, which was perfectly accompanied by a bottle of 2001 Alsace Grand Cru Froehn Riesling from Domaine Becker.   Medium dry but with plenty of acidity to balance the sugar, it had a honeyed flavour with some petrol complexity typical of older Riesling.  It was a lovely wine that reminded me of a very enjoyable domaine visit last year, when I bought the wine.

It's an old-fashioned kind of place, Chez Becker, but boasting the desirable combination of high quality with very fair prices.  Furthermore they seem to be always open, they're very friendly and you can just turn up unannounced and taste your way through a myriad of wines.  What's really worth noting however, is that they are a great source of older vintages (as are Rolly-Gassman, but we'll save them for another day). Riesling ages splendidly and getting a good quality case of it that's 8 years old from a grand cru vineyard for only €12 a bottle is great going.

Stylistically Becker are quite old school.  Their etiquette (labels) could do with an overhaul, but their lack of trendiness guards their value.  The wines tend to have noticeable residual sugar (as opposed to the dry austere style exemplified by Trimbach).  I generally prefer dryer Alsace wines (getting my sweeter Rieslings from Germany), but both styles are valid and one shouldn't be a nazi about it.  Becker are a really good example of the off-dry style; the wines having enough acidity to counter the sugar resulting in balanced and very tasty wines.  Although perhaps not the most complex, serious or mineral of Alsace wines, they are charming and delicious.  I would highly recommend stopping in for a case next time you're buying wine in Alsace.
Domaine Jean Becker, Zellenberg 68340, France

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