Centred around the ancient town of Riquewihr, Dopff & Irion is every bit the traditional Alsace producer, crafting a whole suite of wonderfully traditional textural whites, fragrant Riesling and a very fine Alsace cremant from family vineyards that date back to the 1600s.
But doesn't everyone do that in Alsace? Truth be told we tried A LOT of Alsatian wines last year to find Dopff & Irion, with this estate's clean, detailed and overwhelmingly delicious style even outpointing wines from Hugel & Trimbach in blind tastings.
The Cuvée René Dopff was created in honour of the founder of Maison Dopff & Irion and unsurprisingly you're looking at a trademark wine too, with weighty honeyed deliciousness balanced out by more than enough crisp acidity.
The harvest is entirely handpicked. Gentle extraction is achieved through low pressure pressing and winemaking at a controlled temperature. The wine is matured on fine lees for a period of 4 months, and then filtered. It is stocked in stainless steel vats for several months before being bottled.
Notes of pear and yellow apple are balanced by fresh acidity and freshness.
Dopff & Irion was created in 1945, so just after the Second World War, by the merger of two wine families: the Dopff family and the Irion family. René Dopff was the son of Jean Gustave Dopff, winemaker in Riquewihr and whose family produces wines since the 16th century. He took care of the management and administration and his brother Julien worked mainly in the vineyards. Following a dispute between the two brothers, René left the winery and joined the Resistance. On his return to Riquewihr in March 45, René goes into partnership with Jeanne Irion, a major family name in the Alsatian vineyard, to create the company Dopff & Irion.
After the merger, they joined their vineyards to form the 27 hectares that surround the village and rebuilt them. René Dopff was the pioneer to implement the grape variety according to the terroir. This practice allowed them to highlight the grape variety and the characteristic of the soil. Dopff & Irion wines were served at the Elysée Palace but also at Buckingham Palace. The reputation was at the time well established.
Before the death of René, his son, Guy continued the management of the estate but he put the winery on sale for economic reasons in 1983. The Cave des Vignerons de Pfaffenheim, a prestigious cooperative and recognized by many international competitions, bought the Dopff & Irion winery in 1997 to perpetuate this beautiful heritage.
ANNE KREBIEHL MW - THE WINE ENTHUSIAST
The textured ripeness of russet pear peel is evoked on the rich nose of this wine. The palate adds juiciness that brings balancing, gentle freshness. It's a balanced, rounded, almost understated wine with a medium body and dry finish.