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Rhône producer Michel Chapoutier champions Sylvaner & dry Riesling

on 07/04/11 at 8:42 am


Infamous Rhône producer Michel Chapoutier said he plans to champion Sylvaner and dry Riesling at the global launch of his new label from Alsace, called Schieferkopf.

Speaking at the tasting in London on Tuesday this week, he said: “There is a position for Sylvaner and we have to defend that,” adding: “I have been very impressed by some of the Franken wines and Sylvaner is a good introduction to Alsace.”

As for the absence of residual sugar in his new range of seven labels from the 2009 vintage (see below), he said that the Alsace climate is suitable for the production of dry wines and that it would always struggle to compete with Germany for sweet Rieslings. “We are not boxing in the same division,” he said, stressing Germany’s supremacy.

All his wines have, however, undergone a 100% malolactic conversion because, he said, “lactic acid is more stable”, and “we wanted wines with a lower level of acidity that we don’t have to hide with residual sugar.”

He also said that he was attracted to Alsace because of “the diversity of soils and terroirs and the quality of Riesling.” Continuing, and comparing the region to his homeland, the Rhône, he said: “The Rhône has a patchwork of soils that is unique in Europe, but if you look for another area with such diversity of soils and terroirs, then it is Alsace.”

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