Wine 33: Auxerrois

Let’s stick with the French varietals and talk about Auxerrois, not to be confused with the last post on Valdiguié, which is also known as Gros Auxerrois. As the name implies, this is a white wine, and is a sibling of Chardonnay. My first instinct is to give a little shudder, because Chardonnay is more often a foe than a friend in my glass (more to come in a future post). This wine can run under a few aliases, such as Auxerrois Blanc, Pinot Auxerrois, and Auxerrois Blanc de Laquenexy.

I first learned of this varietal late last year when I attended a Luxembourg wine tasting at a Milwaukee wine shop. I hadn’t really given much thought to Luxembourg really being big in the wine market – especially considering its size – but there it was! Wine-making isn’t new to Luxembourg, as its been tracked back to the Ancient Roman times. The vineyards are primarily found in the southeastern part of the country, along the Moselle River which borders Germany. This may not be surprising; Germany’s Mosel region is well-reputed in the wine industry (delicious rieslings!).

Onto the grape – Auxerrois is a very common grape grown in Alsace, where it’s often used to make Cremant d’Alsace (sparkling) which typically comes from a blend of this grape and Pinot Blanc. Interesting fact – the AOC of France allows 100% Auxerrois [Blanc] to be labeled as Pinot Blanc. With such strict laws, I found that to be incredible!

This varietal will display lively citrus flavors and aromas, but can become more honeyed with age, which will also intensify the color. (Side note: when red wines age, they lose color; when white wines age they gain color. Both can start to take on more orangey hues over time.) It’s always important to have balance in wines, and some of that is achieved by the winemakers by limiting the yield – you chop off some bunches so that the fruit that remains takes on more nutrients and becomes more concentrated in flavor. If regularly high-yielding grapes are left to their own devices, they can become flabby and lackluster,  which means the resulting wine will be more meh than marvelous! Auxerrois usually steers clear of sweetness, often being made into dry or off-dry wines (perfect for making bubbles, in my opinion), and ends up being a light, refreshing white wine option.

The wine featured for this post is a 2015 Auxerrois Premier Cru from Luxembourg, with 12% ABV.


“Domaines Vinsmoselle” is a wine coop in Luxembourg, so many wine-growers pool together to produce wines under the same name. From the business side of things, think about economies of scale. Small producers can struggle with expenses – the machines and equipment needed to produce a vintage can exorbitant. By going in as a banded front, they can produce more at a high quality at a lower price per bottle. I think that helps save us consumers a penny or two as well, thank you very much!

Onto the tasting:


Appearance: This wine is a clear, medium gold, with the color just lightly fading toward the rim.

Nose: This wine has aromas of stone fruits and lily, and a hint of pear. It’s not particularly intense on the nose, but…

Palate: …it pops in the mouth! This wine has high acidity that brings about a brightness that pairs well with the lime citrus flavors. It’s almost margarita-esque in flavor, just without all that added sugar!

Overall: Even with summer nearing its end, this wine will carry you through and could still pair well as a bubbles alternative. Honestly, it’s a delicious flavor from a unique grape found within a unique wine country. Different is good, right? But Auxerrois is not totally off the beaten path; if you’re a white wine fan, specifically of those from cooler climates where you pick up a lot of those citrus flavors, this wine is for you. Yum.

You’re probably more likely to find an Alsatian Auxerrois Blanc in your local stores, so give it a try next time you’re eating something like Pad Thai (white wines and Asian cuisine are practically destined for each other!), potato and leek soup, or crab.

Keep the wine flowing; until next time, cheers!

2 thoughts on “Wine 33: Auxerrois

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