Top 10 volcanic wines

1 – Zind-Humbrecht 2012 Clos Saint Urbain Rangen de Thann Riesling, Alsace

Riesling-Rangen-Thann-CSUThe walled Clos Saint Urbain vineyard in the Grand Cru Rangen de Thann is one of the most celebrated sites in Alsace. Parcels of both the Riesling and Pinot Gris are spread across different sectors. The soil is sedimentary volcanic; the slopes steep and south-facing.

The top sector is cooler and later ripening and cooler, and the soil has a greater percentage of rocks, less topsoil and tend to be more acidic. The lower slope produces richer, robust and more powerful wines.

Aged for 18 months in 40-year-old French barrels this is a stunning Riesling with such open, full of exotic fruit (the 2012 is much more rich and expressive than the 2013), but with an intense flinty-mineral core.

4 Responses to “Top 10 volcanic wines”

  1. Nick Oakley says:

    Etna, Santorini, Tenerife, Pantellaria. I get these. But Alsace? Volcanic?

    • Olivier Humbrecht says:

      There were two types of volcanic activity in the region: submarine in south Alsace, before the emergence of the VOsges mountains above sea level, and more recently in the Kaiserstuhl in Germany. The ashes and vocanic dusts sedimented in the sea and got compacted as the Vosges were pushed out of the sea in a rock called Grauwacke.

  2. Luigi says:

    I cannot believe that any wines from the Campania region was not featured! Greco Di Tufo, Lacryma Christi to name but 2.

  3. See the wonder book by John Szabo MW call Volcanic Wines, recently available online too. Beside the well known regions, some lovely pockets of volcanic terroir to discover.

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