Domaine Amelie & Charles Sparr, Alsace Riesling “Sentiment”
Domaine Amelie & Charles Sparr, Alsace Riesling “Sentiment”

Domaine Amelie & Charles Sparr, Alsace Riesling “Sentiment”

Alsace, France 2020 (750mL)
Regular price$32.00
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Domaine Amelie & Charles Sparr, Alsace Riesling “Sentiment”

None of the old Alsatian Riesling rules apply here. Yes, there is palpable texture in this dry, detailed lightning bolt from Amelie & Charles Sparr, and yes, here in one of the world’s great bastions of natural farming, the Sparrs work biodynamically. But no, there’s none of that dank-cellar, old-barrel funk clouding the purity of fruit in this 2020. Nor is there any excessive residual sugar masking defects. No, this is Riesling with a clear idea of what it wants to be, and it’s one of the most exciting discoveries to come our way from Alsace in a long while.

We’re so hyped about Amelie & Charles Sparr, in fact, that we’ve got a three-wine lineup for you today: It starts with this crystalline entry-level bottling, “Sentiment,” an über-impressive flagship from a couple who only recently founded their domaine (although yes, he’s from that Sparr family, representing the eighth generation to farm vines/make wines in Alsace). In one of wine’s most history-rich regions, the Sparrs are modern marvels—don’t miss out on these gems.

[**NOTE: A lucky few Riesling-philes can have access to the Sparrs’ magical Grand Cru bottling from the granite soils of the Brand vineyard. Their parcel of this perfectly exposed site (“Brand” means “burned,” kind of like Côte-Rôtie) was planted in the 1960s and sits right next to a Zind-Humbrecht plot in this prized Grand Cru. Grab some here!]

As mentioned, Charles Sparr is part of an Alsatian wine dynasty going back hundreds of years, and his wife, Amelie, is from a similarly historic clan: the Barmès-Buecher family. They inherited vineyards from both families—about 25 hectares in seven villages, including parcels in four Grand Crus—to create their domaine, which was founded in 2017. Conversion to organic and biodynamic farming was their most urgent priority, and they managed to become certified in 2019, but their commitment to “natural” wine doesn’t portend funky, flawed wines: There’s real precision to their work in the cellar, resulting in wines that are both clean and full of mineral soul.

“Sentiment” hails from vineyards in the domaine’s home base of Wettolsheim, a village that sits a few klicks southwest of Colmar in the Haut-Rhin. Soils here contain a healthy percentage of limestone (overall their vineyard holdings reflect Alsace’s diverse mosaic of soil types) and today’s 2020 is sourced from estate vineyards ranging in age from 10 to 30 years. Hand-harvested Riesling grapes are “full-cluster” pressed to tanks, where they are fermented on ambient yeasts. Aging is also carried out in tank to maximize freshness and fruit purity.

On first sip, one could mistake this for a dry Riesling from Germany, but there’s a hint of white button mushroom amid the stone fruit and citrus that places it in Alsace. In the glass, it’s a medium straw-yellow with green and silver highlights, offering up perfumed notes of salted lemon, peach, yellow apple core, crushed stones, sea salt, lees, and white tea. It is racy and focused, but with a touch of viscosity to the texture that is an Alsatian signature. Pop and pour this all summer long alongside first-course salads, lighter seafoods drizzled with lots of lemon, or as an apéritif—this is an all-access pass from a pairing perspective. Enjoy!

Domaine Amelie & Charles Sparr, Alsace Riesling “Sentiment”




Enjoying the greatest wines of Beaujolais starts, as it usually does, with the lay of the land. In Beaujolais, 10 localities have been given their own AOC (Appellation of Controlled Origin) designation. They are: Saint Amour; Juliénas; Chénas; Moulin-à Vent; Fleurie; Chiroubles; Morgon; Régnié; Côte de Brouilly; and Brouilly.

Southwestern France


Bordeaux surrounds two rivers, the Dordogne and Garonne, which intersect north of the city of Bordeaux to form the Gironde Estuary, which empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The region is at the 45th parallel (California’s Napa Valley is at the38th), with a mild, Atlantic-influenced climate enabling the maturation of late-ripening varieties.

Central France

Loire Valley

The Loire is France’s longest river (634 miles), originating in the southerly Cévennes Mountains, flowing north towards Paris, then curving westward and emptying into the Atlantic Ocean near Nantes. The Loire and its tributaries cover a huge swath of central France, with most of the wine appellations on an east-west stretch at47 degrees north (the same latitude as Burgundy).

Northeastern France


Alsace, in Northeastern France, is one of the most geologically diverse wine regions in the world, with vineyards running from the foothills of theVosges Mountains down to the Rhine River Valley below.

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