Fréderic Engel is one of the small producers of Alsace, far away from the limelight. They operate in rather modest facilities in Riquewihr, very close to the upper gate. Here, Fréderic Engel, or rather Yves and Alain Engel, sell 80% of the production at the door, most to customers that return year after year to find a very good Riesling Grand Cru Schoenenbourg.
Schoenenbourg is no doubt one of the greatest terroirs in Alsace, and hence in Europe. The geology is very complex. Beneath a thin scree of gravel from the steep, granite mountain range just a stones throw away, the substrate is marl mixed with gypsum. Hence the soil is well drained, calcareous, enjoys a great microclimate but is relatively "cold" in itself. It is the ideal place for Riesling and Muscat.
Fréderic Engel also has vines on Grand Cru Sporen. As several others they produce a Gewurztraminer from this historic terroir, but they also make a small quantity of Riesling. This smoky and exotic Riesling is more Sporen than Riesling, if you see what I mean.
Fréderic Engel makes very honest, correct and fruit wines. The product line varies between the years since the quantities from some parcels may be very small. They avoid malo-lactic fermentation.
The Grands Crus are sold young and, since I have followed the wines for several years, I can assure that they benefit very much from cellaring for at least 5 years.
Alain Engel is a very talented photographer, and be sure to take a look at the magnificent photos on display in the cellar.
Latest visit: 2003. Latest visit: 2013