Jean-Michel Deiss used to make really good, single-varietal wines in Alsace. Then he appeared to go quite mad and started making blends of different grape varieties; I’ve hated every one of them I’ve tried. This is one of the last vintages he made named-vineyard vendanges tardives (late harvest wines), so I hope it is a pleasing view into the past of someone who used to be one of my favourite Alsace producers. This is only 11.5% alcohol.
Riesling Grand Cru Altenberg de Bergheim Vendanges Tardives 1994, Domaine Marcel Deiss
This looks really quite orange and mature. It smells of baked apples, with candied citrus and petrol hints. There is a rich earthiness to it. The nose suggests this is really rather mature. The palate tastes surprisingly dry, but is obviously ripe and powerful even though it seems to lack fruit. There is some good acidity there and minerals show on the finish, but this really isn’t terribly complex or long. Simple and short are not features I would have expected from this, but sadly that is what the wine is like. Alas, this just tastes a bit over-mature; not oxidised, but on its way out certainly. How disappointing! I had hoped for an excellent Deiss wine of old and all I got was an old Deiss wine. At least it is not one of his filth blends; one of them would be completely dead by now and taste awful.