About This Wine
From a steep rocky vineyard behind the village of Ribeauville comes this stunning wine, one of the most classic and long-lived dry Rieslings in Alsace. Rich and varied aromatic notes of white fruit and flowers, supported by a powerful mineral structure. Straightforward and sincere palate with a tight, chiseled acidity. The beautiful taste spectrum and precise structure express the natural elegance of Riesling. Superb tension with length and accuracy, giving a unique persistance to the wine.
As the name says this vineyard occupies the oster berg (east hill) of the three Grand Cru Vineyards above Ribeauvillé (Osterberg, Geisberg and Kirchberg). With the gentlest slope of the three Grand Cru vineyards, Osterberg has a more gentle sun exposure than Geisberg and thus produces more delicate flavours, described by Tom Stevenson as ‘classic and flinty’. Kientzler owns 1.1ha of the 24ha vineyard, where the soils are stony clay over calcerous marl. The resulting wine has a racy personality with floral and lime zest aromas leading to a mineral-inflected, voluminous palate of great intensity and length and a fresh, vibrant and persistent finish.
Alsace is a unique wine region in North Eastern France, bordering Germany and having also been under German control for much of its existence. Due to this influence, unlike other French regions, wines from Alsace are mostly single varietal bottlings and are also labelled with the variety. They also are legally required to use a tall slimmer bottle called flûtes d'Alsace, that is also commonly seen with German wines.
Almost all the wine produced in the region is white (90%) except for Pinot Noir which is used mainly for sparkling wine. Alsace is most known for its Riesling, which is dry, fresh and floral in its youth but develops complex mineral and flint character with age. Following behind is Gewurztraminer with signature spice and beautiful lychee aromatics. The smell of this wine is intoxicating, it is used to make dry but also late harvest dessert wines. Pinot Gris is also a prized variety of the region with its combination of crisp acidity and savory spice as well as ripe stone fruit flavours.
In Autumn humidity builds up to facilitate the development of “noble rot” to produce late-picked sweet wines. In Alsace there are two classifications for late harvest wines: Vendange Tardive (VT) and Sélection de Grains Nobles (SGN). VT for regular late harvest wines and SGN meaning grapes affected by noble rot.
Other varieties grown here include Pinot Blanc, Muscat, Auxerrois, Chasselas and Sylvaner.