From the exceptional Grand Cru Furstentum, this wine shows a wonderful combination of finesse, subtlety, and power with notes of spices, candied grapefruit, and floral tones. A perfect match for spicy Asian cuisine - think Singapore Chilli crab - or mature, washed-rind cheese.
This steep, south-facing chalky slope is one of the very finest terroirs for Gewürztraminer in Alsace. The soil is brown clay that's full of limestone, with a pebbly structure that holds both moisture and warmth. Picking up from the northern limit of Altenbourg, the terraced slopes of Furstentum rise swiftly from 300 metres to the top of the Mont de Sigolsheim at 400 metres. As always, this remarkable terroir has produced an outstanding Gewürztraminer.
The nose is quite varietal. There is extremely racy acidity, which is rare for a Gewurztraminer with 41 g/L residual sugar. No botrytis is present, so the minerality shines through. There are sweet and sour elements with kumquat, honey, and raisin notes with accents of star anise. The fruit is very pure with typical varietal elements but well-balanced and not at all over-the-top. A very pure, candied finish that showcases much minerality.
“I visit a lot of wine estates, but this is one visit I will remember for a long time. Weinbach, based in Kientzheim, is one of the star domaines of Alsace.” Jamie Goode, wineanorak.com
“I have already nailed my colours to the mast by listing Domaine Weinbach in my 100 Most Iconic Wine Estates book. I am always absolutely mesmerised by the thrilling wines from this Domaine.” Matthew Jukes
“With the Grand Cru Schlossberg Cuvée Ste-Catherine in my glass, for a moment I become lost in the memories of earlier vintages poured in this room… In spite of it being the most powerful and concentrated of [Weinbach’s dry Rieslings], it still has a certain delicacy, rather than flexing its muscles. And then we taste back though some of those earlier vintages, and I find the wines acquire a filigree with age, which makes their beauty seem timeless.” Stuart Pigott, Best White Wine on Earth: The Riesling Story
Domaine Weinbach is universally regarded as one of the greatest producers of Alsace and therefore by proxy, one of the greatest ‘aromatic’ Domaines in the world. Yet it is a Domaine that remains incredibly grounded, refreshingly free from overarching self-importance and pomposity, and it is a Domaine that produces an endless stream of wines that are as delicious as they are profound.
Domaine Weinbach farms 27 hectares of vineyards, predominantly Grand Cru. The most famous terroir is the majestic Schlossberg hill, closely followed by the walled Clos de Capucins; a Weinbach fiefdom that lies around the house and its cellars. But we should not forget the majestic Furstentum Grand Cru which, in the gifted hands of the Faller family, produces some of the world’s most profound Gewürztraminer. The Fallers have farmed organically for some time; however, in the late 1990’s they began the conversion towards biodynamics, a move which was complete in time for the 2005 vintage.
In terms of the style, the Weinbach/Faller wines offer a remarkable confluence of intensity and clarity, of power and finesse (as contradictory as that sounds). There is also clarity and homogeneity when it comes to the levels of dryness (a rarity in Alsace these days). Basically all of the Rieslings are dry unless they are late harvest. The Gewürztraminer’s will all have residual sugar but this will be balanced by the phenolics and natural acidity of the grape. The carnival of layered, rocky, and at times bewilderingly complex wines they offer are something to behold. Charge your glasses.
Very jasmine, very lapsang souchong tea and very madame's boudoir! And in spite of this decadence, the wine has a great vitality which grows through the very long finish. Drink and hold. Made from biodynamically grown grapes.
HUON HOOKE - THE REAL REVIEW
Very fragrant and charming, with a lovely range of aromatics. Honeysuckle, gardenia: gorgeous perfumes. The palate is just off-dry with marvellous richness and weight, balance and length. The faintest grip is beautifully managed.
ANNE KREBIEHL MW - THE WINE ENTHUSIAST
A very subtle nose suggests crushed citrus foliage while a hint of zesty lemon goes straight to the head. The palate then comes in with gentle ripe and fresh peach, a wonderfully bitter but pleasant edge of walnut and a gentle sweetness that colors the concentrated midpalate in off-dry pleasure. All the zesty lemon ensures lasting freshness on the off-dry finish.