Domaines Schlumberger Cuvée Clarisse Pinot Gris
February 1, 2006, R.V.
“A pure, beautifully structured wine, with layers of dry botrytis delicately poised over mangoes and spice. Intriguing because it is both sweet and dry at the same time, a great balancing act, and it manages to retain varietal character, hard to do with sweet wines.”
With a single holding of more than 330 acres in Guebwiller, Domaines Schlumberger is the largest Grands Crus producer in Alsace. All Schlumberger wines are estate-grown. Because of the aridity and steepness of the domains, the yields are about 50 percent of the average for the appellation of Alsace. The resulting grapes are very high quality and have exceptional flavor concentration.
For over 200 years, the Schlumberger family has devoted itself to farming the vineyards with passion, dedication and respect to the environment.
Late-harvested, Selections de Grains Nobles Pinot Gris wines are sumptuous and improve by becoming finer in time. Cuvée Clarisse is a very rare wine. Before 1999, it was only produced in 1964, 1989, 1997 and 1998.
Cuvée Clarisse 1999 comes from a prime choice of Selections de Grains Nobles wines produced in 1999.
Handpicked on steep slopes, the grapes were then carried in crates to the winery and then slowly pressed. After letting the must settle statically for about three days, the perfectly clear juice was put in tuns (where the temperature was rigorously controlled) to ferment. Fermentation lasted between one and three months until spring. The wines were stabilized, filtered and then bottled the following spring.
This vintage is vigorous, powerful, balanced, and has beautiful structure. It is very subtle and elegant. A tempting, fresh and sometimes soft wine, Cuvée Clarisse ages well and retains its floral aroma. The wine is a sumptuous gold color. At first, one can detect notes of exotic fruit (pineapple, papaya). The wine becomes more complex when given some air and the characteristics of the terroir become apparent. Full, smooth and very elegant on the palate. the notes of noble rot mingle and complement the exotic fragrance perfectly. The wine is well balanced and the very long finish has a freshness rarely found in a pinot gris.
This wine pairs well with blue cheese, honey and ice cream with nuts. The suggested serving temperature is 54°F.