Saturday, August 23, 2014

More #SummerOfRiesling on #Winechat: Paul Blanck Riesling Grand Cru Schlossberg 2010

This past Wednesday I participated in the weekly Twitter #winechat session which focused on Riesling and specifically the now unified Riesling core of France (Alsace),  Germany (Rheingau), and Austria (Kamptal). The session was sponsored by drinkAlsace, Wines of Germany US, and Austrian Wine USA with each contributing a wine from their region: the Paul Blanck Riesling Grand Cru Schlossberg 2010 from Alsace, the Brandl Riesling Heilingenstein 2011 from Kamptal and the Schloss Schönborn Riesling Kabinett Erbacher Macrobrunn 2011 from Rheingau. I was fortunate to receive the first and learned several new facts about Alsace and the Schlossberg Vineyard. Alsace is located on the French-German border and has been governed by both countries over the centuries. The current border results from the aftermath of WWII with France gaining more territory so that Alsace lies between the Vosges Mountains to the west and the Rhine River to the east. As a quirk of this history, there are some German wineries whose vineyards are still located in Alsace (See Friedrich Becker Family). Alsace is also dry, the 2nd driest region in all of France. Riesling is the most widely planted grape in Alsace w/ nearly 22% of land under Riesling vines; and Alsace accounts for 10% of the World's Riesling production.

One if the highest prized Riesling sources is the Schlossberg Vineyard, which is the oldest and largest of Alsace’s 51 Grand Cru sites. The site lies on south-facing slopes stretching from Kaysersberg to Kientzheim and it's granite soils create elegant and floral Rieslings that are prized for their ability to age. The slopes are steep, so many vines require terraces.

One winery that utilizes Schlossberg is Domaine Paul Blanck. This estate traces its history to the 17th century and today is owned and operated by Philippe & Frédéric Blanck. According to several sources, the winery is known for producing wines that are "balanced, terroir-expressive, and versatile".  And after tasting the
Paul Blanck Riesling Grand Cru Schlossberg 2010 ($34), I can agree with that assessment. The aroma leads with a breathe of fresh mint that is followed by lemon creamsicle on the palette. There's plenty of cream and depth in this Riesling. The wine then finished with silky effervescent acidity that holds for quite a while.  This is a very nice wine, highly recommended. Cheers.

No comments: