Domaine Mittnacht Frères is a biodynamic producer from the Alsace region of France, run by cousins Christophe and Marc Mittnacht. Yesterday I tasted two of their wines in the French Wine Zone at the Imbibe exhibition held at Earl’s Court. Both were marked in the guide book as being organic wines and from checking up online it seems that the 20 hectares of vineyard that they work with are farmed organically.
The first was the 2010 Cuvée Gyotaku, a blend comprising 40% Pinot Blanc, 20% Riesling, 20% Pinot Gris and 20% Gewürztraminer. It was really well balanced. There are some floral aromas (which I assume are courtesy of the Gewürztraminer) with plenty of red apple and honeysuckle. It has a clean acidity without being too dry (just over 5 grams residual sugar apparently) and delicious fruit flavours. I’d be happy to order it at a sushi bar, but just as happy to drink it on its own.
Gyotaku is a Japanese artform that involves applying ink to a fish and then using it to stamp an image onto paper. The artform apparently originated as a means for fisherman to record their catches. As you can see from the picture, this method has been used to create the label. This may seem far away from the Alsace, but winemaker Christophe’s wife is Japanese and Domaine Mittnacht Cuvée Gyotaku has been specifically positioned as a wine to pair with sushi and sashimi, which is detailed on the back label.
The second wine was their standard 2009 Riesling Les Fossiles. It is an off-dry wine with around 10 grams residual sugar, and had the freshness and clean fruit that I like in this varietal. A bit of ripe grapefruit, if that makes sense. Grown on calcareous soils there is a cool mineral, slate edge to the wine adding to the fresh appeal, but it is not OTT on the flint. Again, a really good all around wine that is expressive and complex without being ‘too much’.
These two Alsace wines are clearly made for the on-trade market and either would be welcome on my table. Again they emphasize the strength and potential of off-dry whites when it comes to food-friendly styles. I’d like to try them with fragrant curry dishes or some spicy prawns.
Domaine Mittnacht Frères is imported into the UK by Thorman Hunt & Co Ltd.