About This Wine
Dry. The Schlossberg hill has long been revered as one the world's greatest Riesling vineyards. It's a granitic outcrop that rises north of Kaysersberg and Kientzheim and sits at an altitude of 230-350 metres. The quality of Schlossberg's wines was well known as early as the 15th century and it was the first vineyard in Alsace to receive grand cru status in 1975. With 8-hectares, the Faller family are the largest owners in the Schlossberg and craft an extraordinary family of dry Riesling, parceled and bottled according to vine age and altitude. This wine is cropped from three parcels of the highest vines that the family own, at the very top of the slope. Here the soils are shallow, rocky and therefore very mineral - with the granitic scree giving the soils here a distinctive reddish tinge. This combination of altitude, poor soils and low yields is a potent one and gifts a deep but always dry and mineral Riesling with an intense freshness to balance the wine's flesh. The 2017 was harvested on 27th October at a remarkable 13.3% natural and offers a Riesling masterclass in the balance it offers between power and delicacy. It's rich and layered but also floral and bright and throws a complex array of aromas and flavours at the drinker - from tangerine and pink grapefruit through to jasmine and nettle. Impossible to stop drinking, this is simply a class act.
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.
Robert Parker/Wine Advocate – The 2017 Alsace Grand Cru Schlossberg Riesling is clear and fresh on the nose, with Victoria pineapple aromas. Lush and aromatic on the palate, this is a very intense, structured, refined and salty Schlossberg with a firm (tannin) structure and long finish.