…spontaneously fermenting

A tasting note: 2009 Pierre Frick Crémant Zéro Sulfites ajoutés

I’ll be the first to admit that I am not a fan of Pierre Frick’s wines. I am sure the wines are good (in fact, positive they are good), and that they are made with quality, organically grown grapes, but they just don’t speak to me.  In fact, I have an issue with the wines of Alsace in general. Is it their flowery style I don’t like or their super-fruity expressions, some with residual sugar, that I find hard to gulp?  I have not tasted all the wines of Frick, have you seen how many different bottles of wine he produces?!


Anyway, on to this wine. A Crémant which is supposed to be one of the favorite of Frick’s wines according to many reliable sources – so I was looking forward to tasting it.  Made in the traditional Champenois method, then disgorged and dosed (upwards of Champagne Brut levels – I can only assume based on my tasting), this reasonably priced sparkler (about 55 Polish Zloty) is perhaps the most interesting sparkling wine available in Poland today.   That’s about all I can tell you about the wine because trying to find out any of the other details about it didn’t prove easy. i am not even 100% sure about the grape!  Pinot Auxerrois, Riesling, Pinot Blanc, or a combination of the three? One reliable source was confident that it was 100% Pinot Blanc. Ok, I’ll believe that.

Date Tasted:  November 18th, 22:00

Nose: Quince apple jam, semi-dried (not oxidized) yellow apples, persimmons, carrots (spiced, as in carrot cake),  and other sweet notes like melon, kiwi. Exotic but not tropical. Very complex indeed, very. I could have spent the whole night just smelling the wine, but I got thirsty 😉

Palate: Very fruity with some residual sugar, not sure how much, but enough to give this wine a semi-sweet edge.  Pecan pie (caramelized pecan’s for those who have not tasted the pie version). Great acid with a super long and complex finish. Would be great with not too sweet dessert cakes and some semi mature cheeses.

A very complex wine that has a lot going on and so many aromas and flavors. So much going on that some might even say the wine was unfocused. I would say, rather, that the wine was entertaining and kept me coming back to the glass to see what i would find next.  It would an interesting wine  to try again in 3-5 years. Or, the hell with it. Drink it now!

Who knows, perhaps I am becoming a believer….

Category: 1 WINE, Alsace, France, natural wine (100% living wine), Pfaffenheim


A tasting note: 1983 Domaines Schlumberger Saering Riesling Grand Cru

72DPI 300PX Grand Cru Saering - Domaines Schlumberger

The Saering Grand Cru vineyards cover 27 hectares of which 20 are owned by Schlumberger. Varies in height from 260-300 meters. Approximately 40hl/ha yield.

Domaines Schlumberger

100, Rue Théodore Deck
68501 Guebwiller Cedex
Alsace, France
Phone:  +33 (0)3 89 74 27 00

A little information about the Saering Grand Cru Riesling:

“This “terroir” slips down the mountain side and extends like a peninsula over the plain, forming the shape of a ring. These plains were covered by great oceans over one thousand million years ago. And so the Searing earned it’s nickname “the sea ring”. “Ring” was also employed to talk about a Roman Camp “Seh” comes from “sehen” (meaning “to see” in German); and it is now proved that an observation camp was indeed erected there. The stony and rather heavy soils of this Grand Cru are perfect for Riesling growing. Saering was first mentioned in 1250 and marketing began under this name in 1830.” (from the Schlumberger website)

Date tasted: Tasted blind (involves tasting and evaluating wines without any knowledge of their identities) on June 14th, 2009 19:00 (7:00pm)

These are my tasting notes exactly as I wrote them the time of the blind tasting:


Appearance: Dark golden yellow.  Some development showing, but not much browning of the edges.  Medium to medium plus intensity.  Clean

Nose: Clean? On the nose, hard to tell if this is a good bottle or not, or over the hill.   Slightly oxidized, with hints of caramelized lemons.  Herbs and hints of petrol and minerals. Really ripe yellow apples, especially the core of the apple. I am guessing Alsace or Germany right off the bat based on the nose. We  are tasting this wine blind, so with the slight oxididative notes, we aren’t sure.

Palate: Dry. Medium to Medium plus acid. Good concentration. Salty hints. Quite developed. Guessing to be at least 10-15 years of age.  Quite a bit of weight. I’m thinking Pinot Blanc because of the hefty weight of the wine on the palate. Many people from this group are thinking it’s a Chardonnay, but the acidity is too high and it is not weighty enough in my opinion.

19:40 (7:40pm):

hints of that saltiness are still there. Smells a bit like blue cheese.


Nobody took this wine (that is nobody managed to guess what it was they were drinking), but many were in the Chardonnay camp. I of course didn’t peg this either. My guess was Alsace or Southern Germany and ultimately guessed Pinot Blanc.

The acidity was quite high, but not as a high as what I would have expected from a Riesling.  Of course, this wine was 26 years old, so the acidity had softened quite a bit, making it a bit harder to peg.  It didn’t help that I guessed this wine to be only 15 years old due to the overall freshness. It also had a bit more weight than a Riesling and hence I landed on Pinot Blanc – a grape that in blind tastings can be confused with the Chardonnay, or at times even Riesling.

I did notice hints of petrol on the nose as I indicated in my tasting notes, but age can play tricks on a wine and even other grapes besides Riesling can gain hints of  what we call “petrol” as they age, especially wines high in minerality.

We should all blind taste as it excercises a part of the brain that we don’t often use and can help us to better understand what is in the glass.  Plus it’s fun!


Category: 1 WINE, 3 TASTING NOTES, Alsace, France, Guebwiller

1 comment



Vinosseur is the company name of sommelier Joseph R. Di Blasi. is his web page where he writes about wine, food, restaurants and other gastronomic experiences.

Joseph has a special place in his heart for quality wines from the old world, especially France & Italy, with a strong focus on Organic, Biodynamic and Natural wines.

Joseph grew up in Italy and California, but left The States in 2002 and now resides in Poland.

Get in touch

Joseph would love to hear from you! You can contact him by email at