($110; this very densely planted vineyard includes all the Alsace varieties) Bright, pale yellow-gold. Sensational nose combines tangy orange peel, licorice, lemon grass, spices and caraway seed. Compellingly silky and opulent on the palate, with outstanding concentration and precision to the flavors of pineapple, soft citrus fruits, exotic spices and botanical herbs. Perfectly integrated acidity and some unabsorbed CO2 contribute to the impression of sappiness. The endless rising finish leaves the palate vibrating. I'm not yet convinced that all of Deiss's |premier cru| vins de terroir have distinctive enough site character to routinely justify separate bottling, but his grand crus Altenberg de Bergheim and Schoenenbourg, from very densely planted holdings, are consistently two of Alsace's most exciting wines.
Author: Stephen Tanzer
Issue: November/December 2010
Wine Advocate | Rating: 95
A multifaceted and seductive aromatic melange of musk, gardenia, heliotrope, marzipan, quince preserves, citrus oils, and herbal essences greets me from the glass of Deiss 2008 Altenberg de Bergheim. The creamy richness of quince paste and marzipan backed by residual sugar and high-glycerin while accompanied by inner-mouth florality puts me somewhat in mind of a great Chenin. Confectionary and baroque, this nevertheless preserves a remarkable sense of levity, vivacity, and primary juiciness, so that its long strands of finishing flavor seem to undulate and vibrate in their kaleidoscopically complex interaction. This extraordinary testimony to its site and to the co-plantation that is Deiss's mantra ought to be worth following for the next 20-25 years.