The Wines of Pierre Frick
Last night, we held our Taste Alsace event in Studio 206, and a number of folks weathered the storm to visit. Here we presented the wines of Pierre Frick, along side those of Dirler-Cadé, Joseph Cattin, Frederic Mochel and JJ Prum, for comparison, and for us, there was nothing better to fill the glass on a stormy night than these selections from [Germany and] Alsace.
What struck us upon tasting the wines from Frick, whose house style is typically dry, is how subjective they are in the glass. On the nose, most of his wines seemed beyond their years in vintage, with some even showing oxidative notes. “He doesn’t control his fermentations,” said Patrick Burke, our French Portfolio Director, expounding upon these unusual characteristics, “so they get blocked before the sugar is gone.” With high levels of residual sugar present as the wines go through malolactic fermentation, “the primary fermentation happens in two stages with ML in the middle, which likely leads to the oxidative quality” of these wines, added Patrick.
No matter how these selections from Frick arrive at the following notes, they are incredibly balanced, sometimes savory and absolutely divine.
Pierre Frick Riesling Cuvee Classique Sans Soufre 2010 1.2 g/L of RS ; 7.6 g/L TA
With minerality in the form of crushed rocks and grapefruit that’s light on the sour bite, the Riesling Cuvee is lean with racy acidity that’s balanced by the wine’s minerality, finishing with lingering fruit and a slightly nutty oxidative note.
Pierre Frick Pinot Gris Cuvee Classique Sans Soufre 2009 3.7 g/L of RS ; 4.8 g/L TA
There’s a lactose element to the Pinot Gris Cuvee, with notes of lemon curd and cheese rind. A textural wine that coats your mouth, the minerality here is dusty and the finish with grapefruit pith.
Pierre Frick Riesling Grand Cru Vorbourg 2008 2 g/L of RS ; 7.7 g/L TA. S & SE facing at 220-300m. Calcareous-marl over sandstone and limestone, with loess on the higher ground.
Perhaps the most “classic” of Frick’s wines last night, the Riesling Grand Cru Vorbourg ’08 is big on petrol with beeswax, and peachy stone fruit and pip. The cascading acidity is complimented by the wine’s minerally viscosity, and the mid-palate grapefruit citrus lingers well beyond the finish.
Pierre Frick Gewurztraminer Cuvee Classique Sans Soufre 2009 0.8 g/L of RS ; 4.7 g/L TA
Because it’s almost impossible to mask the essence of Gewurztraminer, all the expected notes are present. Intense aromatics of perfumed lychee fruit and spice give way to a surprisingly lean wine that’s laced with minerality that accompanies grapefruit pith on the finish.
Pierre Frick Pinot Blanc Cuvee Classique 2010 6.2 g/L of RS ; 6.9 g/L TA
Aromas of juicy dried apricots rise from the glass, with a lean acidity that folds into stone mid-palate. The orange fruit here is creamy, and slightly nutty, with end notes that retain the peel’s essence.
Pierre Frick Pinot Gris Rot Murle 2007 8.8 g/L of RS ; 6.4 g/L TA
With light minerality on the nose, one is invited to climb inside the glass. Here, the acidity is mild and the fruit, fresh apricot with a touch of honey. Orange blossoms appear mid-palate and linger long after the wine is finished.
Pierre Frick Pinot Noir Terrasses 2005 1.1 g/L of RS ; 4.9 g/L TA
From a specific parcel of Rot Murle, with iron rich soil, the Pinot Noir Terrasses is a harmonious offering of purple flowers, crushed stone, earthy salinity and light red fruit, with a hint of pine resin in its tannins.
Pierre Frick Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Steinert 2009 13.7 g/L of RS ; 4.9 g/L TA. E facing at 240-310m. Dry, stony, colluvium over limestone base.
Earthy, yet varietally correct, with a tongue tickling spice, the Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Steinert ’09 shows a sherry-esque oxidative note near the finish, accompanied by orange blossom, wet stone and pith.
Pierre Frick Sylvaner Bergweingarten 2007 13.25 g/L of RS ; 7.3 g/L TA
Offering notes of hay and/or kasha grain, the Sylvaner Bergweingarten ’07 is savory with muted dried apricot fruit and a hint of RS at the start that turns into an oxidative, sherry-like finish.
Pierre Frick Pinot Gris VT 2002 97.8 g/L of RS ; 6.9 g/L TA
With creamy lactose that’s persistent, the Pinot Gris VT ’02 shows waves of milk/cream, alternating with accompanying notes of apricot, beeswax and honey. Despite the 97.8 g/L of RS, the finish here is somewhat dusty yet surprisingly clean.
Pierre Frick Gewurztraminer SGN 2007 116 g/L of RS ; 8.1 g/L TA
A beautiful wine with notes of dried apricot and raisins and honey, the botrytis is flattered with oxidation and a racy acidity that balances.