Alsace – grand cru power

Alsace - Grand Cru Brand

How much power is too much? Above, Grand Cru Brand, from the middle of the vineyard.

Are Alsace's grands crus dying mammoths or superheroes? This sacrilegious question began to form as I stood in one of its steep, iconic vineyards in September 2023, when it was so hot that the roads between the vineyards shimmered, even though it wasn’t yet 10 am. I squinted through sunglasses, unable to see my phone screen in the glare to take photographs, and wished I’d worn sun cream. Wine producers were predicting one of the earliest ever harvests.

This question came back to me repeatedly over...