Domaines Schlumberger Cuvée Christine
Wine & Spirits
December 1, 2016, Joshua Greene
“The Schlumbergers own most of the Kessler grand cru, an east-lacing sandstone hillside where they grow this fragrant, rosy, late harvest gewurztraminer. While you can feel the richness from the residual sugar in this wine, it doesn’t taste sweet, Instead it tastes like perfectly ripe fruit, the flavors evolving from peach to apricot nectar as they last. There’s some nerve and tension to the ‘vine, expressed in herbal notes of rosemary—and the mineral kel of the acidity, wrapping the flavors into a sphere. Pretty delicious.”
With a single holding of more than 330 acres at Guebwiller, Domaines Schlumberger is the largest Grands Crus producer in Alsace. All Schlumberger wines are estate-grown. Seventy five percent of the vines are planted on very steep, terraced slopes, requiring horses be used for fieldwork. The outstanding quality of the wines is due largely to Schlumberger’s superior vineyards, but also because yields are deliberately kept low. The winery produces only 80,000 cases annually, while the law allows for up to 160,000.
This wine is harvested in over-maturity, several weeks after the harvest. Contrary to certain types of sweet wines, it maintains a freshness and natural acidity with a flavor that is unique in the world. The grapes come exclusively from the Grand Cru Kessler plot. The grapes are harvested manually from the steep vineyards, the grapes are then transported in small crates (to prevent the berries from getting crushed) to the winery where they are then slowly pressed. After racking for about three days, the perfectly clear juices are fermented in tuns where the temperature is strictly controlled. Fermentation last from one to three months until spring. The wines are then stabilized, filtered and then bottled.
The robe is a light gold yellow, with green reflections of average-intensity. The disk is limpid, bright, and transparent. The wine shows a beautiful youth. The nose is frank, pleasant, of good intensity. Elegant, one perceives dominances of candied, exotic scents, mango, passion fruit, lychee, citrus fruits, grapefruit, flowers, violet, peony. Airing enhances the previous aromas and reveals spices, Sichuan pepper, candied ginger and rose. Very beautiful varietal definition. The health of the grapes and the control of the over-ripeness are exemplary. The onset in the mouth is dense, ample, rich. Semi liquorish, the alcohol support is full-bodied. One evolves on a medium with a strict, sharp but however underlying vivacity marked by a sparkling note. The range of aromas is based on exotic fruits, passion fruit, mango, lychee, citrus fruits, grapefruit, flowers, rose, peony and spices, candies ginger. One can make out a hint of bitterness. The finish has a great length, 12 caudalies, as well as a fine bitterness and a persistent vivacity. Brilliant! The balance of this wine confirms the great nobility of this vintage. The structure is complete in spite of its youth.
Wine Alcohol: 12.38%
Titratable Acidity: 3.43
Residual Sugar: 103.9
Suggested Retail Price: $72.00