Philippe Kubler's 2009 Pinot Blanc Arrives
by Cynthia Hurley
Philippe Kubler with his wine
I just can't get enough of the Philippe Kubler's wines. I have been drinking them all week and every bottle surprises and "seduces" me. That second word comes from La Revue du Vin de France. They are beautiful, dry, white wines with pert acidity and floral notes, that are so much better than other Alsace wines I've had.
Have you been thinking about pouring that first splash of Alsace into your glass? There is probably no better vintage than 2009 for taking the plunge.
Wine Spectator reports that the 2009 vintage is "excellent...All of the area's major varieties looked good, though several producers feel the Pinots - Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris - did especially well"
Wine Spectator writes, "The success of the harvest is undoubtedly due to the near-ideal weather during September and October-warm, dry days and cool nights-but the growing season laid the groundwork."
Robert Parker has praise for Kubler as well:
"After earning his oenology degree from Bordeaux, and a stage at Cloudy Bay in New Zealand, young Philippe Kluber ... took over at his family's domaine beginning with the 2004 vintage. Based on the several samples that reached me while in Alsace from his second harvest, this is a vigneron to watch." eRobert Parker.com
"Philippe Kubler is a young, idealistic, grower who will take risks to go for the utmost quality in his wines." -La Revue du Vin de France
Let me tell you a little bit more about Philippe Kubler. Estates can be very old in Alsace. The Kublers have been making wine since 1620. Amazing! The Domaine is made up of only 9 hectares (about 22 acres).The age of the vines averages 30 years. They pick the grapes by hand. They age the wines in Alsatian oak foudres (big oak casks) for 8 to ten months.
The vineyards are spread around Soultzmatt which is in southern Alsace near Colmar and Eguisheim.
Philippe, himself, is very accomplished. After getting his Master's in oenology from Bordeaux University, Philippe snagged a job making wine at Doisy Daene (one of my favorite Sauternes) with Denis Dubourdieu (one of Bordeaux's most famous white winemakers).
He then went on to Burgundy and worked with Colin Deleger making one of Burgundy's finest Chassagne Montrachets - all this, in addition to his stint at Cloudy Bay in New Zealand.
I am so glad I met Philippe Kubler. I had been looking for a great Pinot Blanc for a long time. I wanted a refreshing, good value alternative to Chardonnay and this is it. The problem with other Pinot Blancs is that they can be over-produced resulting in diluted and just not flavorful enough wines. Kubler's Pinot Blanc is very important to Philippe. It is loaded with lemons and other fruits with some minerals and even some spicy hints on the finish. It is a beautifully pure expression of Pinot Blanc and shows this grape's full potential.
If you love Alsace whites, then this is your moment, and if you don't know much about Alsace wines, won't you give this wine a try? Cynthia Hurley