Wine Advocate-Parker : The 2012 Grand Cru Altenberg de Bergheim is the quintessence of all Alsatian grape varieties, including the pink Chasselas, and marked a milestone in Jean-Michel Deiss's life as a winegrower. It was in the Altenberg where he broke with the grape variety-over-terroir dominance because the Altenberg Grand Cru is more dominant than each of the grape characteristics. The field blend roots in calcareous sandstone soils with clay and is extremely regular affected by noble rot, as Deiss reports. Deep yellow and almost golden in color, the 2012 shows intense and precise fruit aromas of ripe peaches, white cacao, vanilla and honey, but also a coolish and earthy soul or fundament. Sweet and very elegant on the first palate, this full-bodied, powerful and tension-filled wine reveals a stunning precision, typical limestone freshness and finesse. Indeed, the lemon-fresh acidity gives the rhythm of the Altenberg, and takes its estimated 90 grams of residual sugar into an ernormously long and salty finish. The 2012 is a highly expressive Altenberg that is a great pleasure to enjoy today, but an even greater pleasure in 10 or 20 years from now. Enjoy with foie gras or blue cheese, with fatted chicken or beef tartar, as Deiss recommends.