Like many double barrelled producers in Alsace, Kuentz-Bas was formed by the marriage of two winemaking families – Kuentz and Bas – in 1895. The Kuentz family trace their wine heritage back a whole century earlier so it is the year 1795 which appears on labels.
A big change came in 2004 when the family sold their firm to fellow winemaker Jean-Baptiste Adam. Adam himself is the 14th generation of vignerons in his family and is passionate about the local terroir. He has introduced organic, biodynamic and natural methodologies across the estate. The vineyards total ten hectares in area, including plots with the Grands Crus of Eichberg, Geisberg and Pfersigberg, around the village of Husseren-les-Châteaux, just west of Eguisheim.
The Châteaux referenced in the village name are the ruins of three ruined castles – Dagsbourg, Wahlenbourg and Weckmund – within close promixity of each other, and known locally as Les Trois Châteaux. They also give their name to the senior range in Kuentz-Bas’s portfolio which includes Lieux Dits and Grands Crus. The more modest wine range is La 4ème Tour, “The Fourth Tower”, which includes the MosaïK Riesling below.
Kuentz-Bas Alsace Riesling MosaïK 2018
MosaïK refers to the multitude of soil types that criss-cross the Alsatian vignoble (13 in total) and specifically the four on which the vines for this wine are grown: marl, clay, limestone and loess. The wine is therefore a Riesling blend.
And it’s unmistakeably a Riesling – pale in the glass then a nose of lemon and lime, golden delicious apples and hints of bitter almonds. It smells like a natural wine – precisely what that smell is lies beyond my vocabulary, but you know it when you smell it. As it’s a step away from the “normal” fruity flavours of young Riesling that might not suit everyone, but for me it adds an interesting extra dimension to the nose.
There’s fruit in the mid palate but the wine is super dry on the finish, which is almost – but not quite – austere. The pithy texture adds more savoury notes to the ensemble. I drank this wine on its own but I think it would shine brighter with food. It’s a great example of a different style of Alsace Riesling.
- ABV: 13.5%
- RRP: €16.95, down from €19.95 until 31st August 2022
- Source: sample
- Stockists: O’Briens stores and obrienswine.ie