This year's Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Trophy for Sweet Alsace over £15 went to Jean Geiler, Gewurztraminer, Grand Cru Mambourg 2012 (13%)

Tasted against: No other Golds in this category

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Jean Geiler has its roots in the mid-1920s when a collection of more than 30 grape growers banded together to form a co-operative in response to the crippling economic conditions of the time. In those early days it largely sold its wine in bulk, but now its number has swollen to 175 growers, with vines that cover almost 400 hectares of Alsatian land; a multitude of terroirs which produce about 40 different cuvees.

This Trophy winner is from Mambourg, one of nine grand cru vineyards where Jean Geiler has interests, and is a grand cru first referenced in the 8th century as a site of stunning potential. With its generous exposure to the sun, it is one of the earliest ripening of all of Alsace’s grand crus, and this is the only wine that Jean Geiler produces from here.

Part of the charm in visiting this domaine is its acknowledgement of the long winemaking history of Alsace. Over the years it has amassed a collection of equipment and gadgets used by the region’s winemakers, including tools once used by coopers and old horse-drawn carts used to harvest the grapes. Star of the show however, is a massive barrel – 4.5m high and 4.2m wide – that has been recently restored to working condition (allegedly making it the oldest barrel still in service in Europe) and has a capacity of more than 47,000 bottles.

Written by Decanter