The Bechtold Pinot Noir delights when paired with charcuterie, soups and creamy pastas

Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir
Location: Alsace, France
Winery owner: Jean-Marie Bechtold
Approximate retail price: $38

Tasting Notes:

Color: Medium ruby hues with a wide meniscus, slightly cloudy

Aroma: Captivating earthiness laced with bright cherry, strawberry and rose – with the slightest hint of smoke

Taste: Bright acidity strikes the mouth immediately, followed by enticing light red fruits and mineral earthiness and finishing with mild tannins. This wine is highly complex and layered.

The originating region of Alsace is located in northeastern France, on the borders of Germany and Switzerland. For at least 300 years, the territory of Alsace has either been a part of Germany or France. As a result, the culture tends to reflect a blend of the two, though these days, French is the primary language. It is a fascinatingly unique region rich in culture and history.

Alsace has been host to wine-making for over 2,000 years and due to the cooler climate has focused primarily on white varietals such as Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris. While these wines can be produced off-dry or even sweet, Alsace whites tend to be made more on the dry side. Pinot Noir is also produced as either a red or rosé wine but is less common.

Due to the terrior (climate, soil type, etc.) of Alsace, the Pinot Noirs that come out of this region have a very unique style to them. While still expressing true varietal character, it can have an earthiness similar to burgundy but also display minerality typically found in white wines. The fruit also tends to be brighter yet still full-mouthed. Alsace Pinot Noirs can be fascinating to the right audience, but they can take a person by surprise.

The Bechtold winery, while known for its highly aromatic and dry Rieslings and Gewürztraminers, also produces a Pinot Noir which comes from the Obere Hund Vineyard, one of four vineyards used by Bechtold. This low production Pinot Noir goes through primary and malolactic fermentation in steel tanks and is aged up to a year in large neutral oak casks. Jean-Marie Bechtold takes a minimalist approach during vinification to allow both the vintage and terrior to be fully expressed. The result is an amazing wine that grips your senses and leaves you tantalized.

If you consider yourself a Pinot Noir fan, even a connoisseur, dare yourself to try a Pinot from Alsace, especially the Bechtold Obere Hund, if you can find it.

Bechtold has long been practicing organic farming and wine production but is also segueing into biodynamic practices, as well.

Food Pairings: Charcuterie, soft or hard aromatic cheeses, grilled chicken, lean red meats and game, tomato-based sauces or soup, creamy pastas with truffles or any type of mushroom.