Riesling is one of the classic grape varieties. At the moment it is not in favour however those with an experienced palate know and understand what a magnificent wine it can be, especially when you combine classic regions, great vineyards and top vintages.
Alsace is the home of Riesling in France. Grapes have been grown in the region since the 4th century. In 1975 a bill was passed to recognize the premium sites and in 1983 the first wines were awarded Grand Cru status. The system is very similar to that used in Burgundy and much of the decision was based on historical information dating back to the 14th century.
To the north of the delightful walled town of Riquewihr lies the Grand Cru vineyard of Schoenenbourg. The vineyard runs along the rather steep south and south-east flanks of the Schoenenbourg hillside, at an altitude of 265 to 380 metres. There is a lot of stone in the soil and this, combined with the altitude, makes for a very mineral wine with great ageing potential. Renowned ever since the early Middle Ages, the wines of the Schoenenbourg were famous throughout northern Europe in the 16th century. The great Swiss cartographer, Merian, cited in 1663: "The Schoenenbourg, which produces the most noble wine of this country". Voltaire owned several vineyards here.
Whilst Grand Cru White Burgundy has sky-rocketed in recent years the price of Grand Cru Riesling from Alsace has remained very affordable.
Dopff and Irion produce the Grand Cru Schoenenbourg and when the domaine offered to send me some samples I jumped at the chance. I tasted them all and was really impressed at how good the wines were.
The aged wines were fresh, vibrant and complex and there are some exceptional vintages amongst the younger wines.
We ordered what we could but now that the wines are about to ship I see quantities remaining are very low. Unfortunately, there is no further stock of most of the older wines so this is it.
Here is what is left:
10 bottles 1990
6 bottles 1998
9 bottles 2000
3 bottles 2002
9 bottles 2003
8 bottles 2004
12 bottles 2008
49 bottles 2010
9 bottles 2011
The 2010 won the Trophy and Gold Medal for Best Alsace Riesling at the International Wine Challenge 2013. It is a stunner!
I am excited about these wines and if you are willing to diversify from Chardonnay I think you will find they are terrific drinks at a crazy low price. To make them more attractive we have increased our Pre Arrival Discount to almost 20%.
To view the wines and order on our website click here. Feel free to mix and match vintages and create your own tasting experience.
Order online or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (03) 9326 5737.