In the Grand Cru of Goldert, Alsace has its own "golden slope." If Burgundy's Côte d'Or is famous for extraordinary Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Goldert is famous for its Gewurztraminer, Muscat, and Pinot Gris, though all four 'noble' varieties (and some Pinot Noir) are planted in Goldert.
Brief Summary of a Long History
Goldert has quite a history, as its reknown stretches back to the 8th Century. Fast-forward to the French Revolution, and its great repute continued: one apocryphal source of oral history holds that Goldert was one of Thomas Jefferson's favorite sources of wine (he had so many...). Goldert is located to the north of Gueberschwihr, its slopes facing east. Its location, which is about 15 minutes southwest of Colmar, is in the center of the extraordinary stretch of land that is the Haut-Rhin. The foundation of the vineyard is a limestone subsoil covered by a calcareous topsoil in which clay and sandstone are mingled.
Grape Varieties in Use in Goldert
It has long been particularly esteemed for its Gewürztraminer and Muscat, but Pinot Gris from Goldert can be as extraordinary as from any other great source. Riesling fares least well, but when conditions are right, Goldert Riesling can be up to Grand Cru quality.
Top Growers in Goldert
My experience with wines from this Grand Cru rest mostly with the wines of Ernest Burn (all four noble varieties), and the Gewürztraminer and Muscat from Zind-Humbrecht. The wines from Zind-Humbrecht have been consistently available to me, so I have had a better chance to follow their qualitative stature, and they do not fail to inspire. Zind-Humbrecht also pulled off that rarest of feats when they produced a Muscat Vendange Tardive from Goldert in 1995. Ernest Burn and Goldert are practically synonymous--Burn's Clos St.-Imer is one of the great Clos in Alsace, and the wines are astonishing. I have not had the opportunity to have them since the 2004 vintage, but if history is any indication, Burn is still the greatest exponent of this terroir. I have also found Maurice Schueller's Gewürztraminer and Muscat to be excellent, but I have not had the opportunity to follow them on a regular basis.
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