When it comes to blended wines, it is worth remembering that the mention of the varietal on the label of AOC Alsace remains optional. It is therefore possible to find blended wines using many different varietals in Alsace AOC without any one specific mention on the label.
In practice, the term Edelzwicker is often used to designate any blended wines of AOC Alsace white grape varietals, without indicating the percentages in the composition. The different grape varieties may be vinified together or separately. The mention of vintage is optional.
Historically, these different varietals came from the same parcel. Originally called “Zwicker” (blend), the prefix Edel (noble) was added to mark the presence of noble grape varieties chosen to replace mass-produced grape varieties. Edelzwicker is different from “Gentil”, which is subject to a charter put in place by the Interprofession (regional wine body) defining production techniques.
The denomination Gentil is thus reserved for AOC Alsace wines that fit within the standards of a superior quality blend. This blend must consist of a minimum of 50% Riesling, Muscat and/or Gewurztraminer, the rest made up of Sylvaner, Chasselas and/or Pinot Blanc. Before blending, each grape variety must be vinified separately and must officially qualify as AOC Alsace wine. Gentil may not be sold commercially until after quality control certification in bottle.
Blended wines are different by nature. Edelzwickers generally display a clear yellow colour, with a fruity and harmonious nose. The palate is supple and well-balanced.
Edelzwicker is generally a wine that is simple and easy to drink, a combination of fruit and freshness in the mouth. Light-bodied, it has minimal ageing potential and is best served with simple dishes such as salads, and charcuterie....