We head to Alsace to discover the bottles that were most sought after in the first half of 2019. Prestigious grands crus, white wines for cellaring, sweet wines (Vendanges Tardives and Sélection de Grains Nobles) and meticulous viticulture fueled increasing interest in the region’s wines at auction.
iDealwine’s rankings of Alsace wines
|#||Highest-priced bottle||Price (inc.VAT) per 75cl bottle|
|1||2 bottles of Riesling Clos Sainte-Hune Trimbach 1990||395|
|2||1 bottle of Gewurztraminer Furstentum Sélection de Grains Nobles Weinbach 1994||97|
|3||1 magnum of Pinot Gris (Tokay) Vendanges Tardives Hugel 1988||79|
|4||2 bottles of Alsace Grand Cru Brand K Albert Boxler 2010||79|
|5||1 magnum of Riesling Grand Cru Brand Zind-Humbrecht Vendanges tardives 1995||67
Alsace occupies a special place in the heart of the iDealwine lovers, even if figures don’t reflect the affection felt for this region quite that accurately. 1,006 bottles from this region were sold during the first half of the year on our platform, representing 1.2% of volumes traded. However, quality and rarity have remained watchwords for your buying decisions throughout these first six months of the year.
First of all, let’s remember that, to properly establish the list of the most prominent bottles of the auction of the semester, we chose to retain only the most expensive vintage of a domain by converting its price to a standard bottle size (75 cl) to facilitate comparisons.
You won’t be surprised to learn that our ranking of Alsace wines opens with the most prestigious domains. Thus, yet again this year, domain Trimbach leads the way, with a lot of two bottles of Clos Sainte Hune 1990 Riesling (€790, or €395 for 75cl), widening the gap with domain Weinbach which ranks No.2, thanks to its Gewurztraminer Furstentum SGN 1994 (€97, + 24%). Finally, in third place of this podium, a Pinot Gris VT 1988 from domain Hugel (€79). It should be noted that, apart from the world-famous Clos Sainte-Hune, no other bottle (75cl) of this list exceeds the threshold of €100 per bottle. In other words, Alsace remains very attractive for wine lovers in search of rarity, as much as of excellence, all at affordable prices.
Alsace, kingdom of great cellaring wines
The three bottles placed in pole position confirm the constant search for great wines for ageing. The oldest bottle in this ranking, a 1964 Windsbuhl Muscat from domain Meyer (€45, + 48%), is joined by several other excellent years: 1983 (Léon Beyer Pinot Gris SGN: €44, + 68%), 1990 (Riesling Clos Sainte Hune from Trimbach) and 2007 (Riesling Grand Cru Geiberg from Kientzler: €43) are just some examples.
Grapes and sugar levels, an Alsatian specificity
You might have noticed that this list pays tribute to noble grape varieties. Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris and Muscat are therefore well represented. Little importance is given to red wines. However, a Pinot Noir (cuvée Béatrice 2014 domain Binner: €26, + 6%), makes a small appearance.
These Alsatian nectars are also defined by their sugar level. Wines from a Sélection de Grains Nobles (6 out of 20) and Vendanges Tardives (7 out of 20) are therefore at the centre of attention. It must be said that, although the continental climate of the region allows for late harvests, ‘Sélection de grains nobles’ wines require a meticulous workforce to harvest the grapes one by one; output is therefore generally very small. One example is the SGN Gewurztraminer Cuvée Anne 1988 from domain Schlumberger (€61) and the Pinot Gris VT 1990 by Rolly Gassmann (€41, + 55%).
However, in this region where a prominent place is given to single-varietal wines, one domain stands out, a domain that is working hard to bring back the tradition of the complantation. It is, of course, domain Marcel Deiss. The domain features in the ranking with a Riesling SGN Grand Cru Schoenenbourg 1994 (€67, + 10%).
Reasoned, organic and biodynamic viticulture is well-represented
Sustainable, organic and biodynamic viticulture is widely adopted in this French region, largely thanks to its continental climate. In this top 20, there are no fewer than nine biodynamic domains (including Ostertag and Josmeyer) and three organic (including Dopff and Rolly Gassmann) among others known for their meticulous and discerning work.
Big names and emerging figures
The ranking places Alsace’s iconic grands crus in the spotlight, such as the Clos Sainte Hune, the monopole owned by domain Trimbach, also more commonly known as the « Montrachet of Alsace ». Other prestigious grands crus include Furstentum, Schoenenbourg and Sonnenglanz. Among these mythical names, certain names stand out, as Domaine Bott Geyl (Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Sonnenglanz 2002: €49, +13%).
Don’t hesitate to browse our Alsace wines currently for sale on iDealwine.
Read our other auction rankings here:
Top 20 Alsace wines at auction:
|#||Highest-priced bottle||Price (inc.VAT) per 75cl bottle||Buying country||Buyer profile|
|1||2 bottles of Riesling Clos Sainte-Hune Trimbach 1990||395 €||China||Trade|
|2||1 bottle of Gewurztraminer Furstentum Sélection de Grains Nobles Weinbach 1994||97 €||France||Private|
|3||1 magnum of Pinot Gris (Tokay) Vendanges Tardives Hugel 1988||79 €||Australia||Private|
|4||2 bottles of Alsace Grand Cru Brand K Albert Boxler 2010||79 €||France||Private|
|5||1 magnum of Riesling Grand Cru Brand Zind-Humbrecht Vendanges tardives 1995||67 €||France||Private|
|6||1 magnum of Riesling Sélection de Grains Nobles Grand Cru Schoenenbourg Marcel Deiss 1994||67 €||Finland||Private|
|7||1 bottle of Riesling Vendanges Tardives Grand Cru Muenchberg Ostertag 2004||66 €||France||Private|
|8||1 bottle of Gewurztraminer Sélection de Grains Nobles Cuvée Anne Schlumberger 1988||61 €||France||Private|
|9||1 bottle of Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Sonnenglanz Sélection de Grains Nobles Bott-Geyl 2002||49 €||France||Private|
|10||1 bottle of Pinot Gris (Tokay) Grand Cru Brand Domaine Hurst 1991||46 €||United Kingdom||Private|
|11||1 bottle of Muscat Windsbuhl Domaine Meyer 1964||45 €||France||Private|
|12||1 bottle of Pinot Gris (Tokay) Sélection de Grains Nobles Leon Beyer 1983||44 €||France||Private|
|13||1 bottle of Gewurztraminer Sélection de Grains Nobles Dopff Au Moulin 1983||44 €||France||Private|
|14||1 bottle of Riesling Grand Cru Geisberg Kientzler 2007||43 €||France||Private|
|15||1 bottle of Pinot Gris (Tokay) vendanges tardives Rolly Gassmann 1990||41 €||France||Private|
|16||1 bottle of Gewurztraminer Vendanges Tardives cuvée Jean-Baptiste Vendanges tardives Adam 1983||38 €||France||Private|
|17||2 bottles of Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Hengst Josmeyer 1995||37 €||Spain||Private|
|18||2 bottles of Gewurztraminer Vendanges Tardives Furstenturm Grand Cru Domaine Paul Blanck 1995||37 €||France||Private|
|19||2 bottles of Gewurztraminer Altenbourg Vendanges Tardives Domaine Albert Mann 2009||37 €||France||Private|
|20||1 double magnums of Pinot noir cuvée Béatrice Binner 2014||26 €||Belgium||Private|