Domaines Schlumberger Pinot Gris Grand Cru Spiegel
May 2018, Ian D'Agata
“Bright golden-tinged dark straw. The captivating, multifaceted nose combines pear, apricot, honey, marzipan and molasses, lifted by higher notes of yellow flowers. Rich, thick and glyceral, but with an extraordinarily light touch to the yellow plum, raisin, honey and delicately spicy flavors. Finishes extremely long and nicely focused. Based on my tasting of the Schlumberger wines, this one offers a real lesson in terroir: in a hot vintage like 2015, the Pinot Gris grape obviously fared much better in the Spiegel grand cruthan it did in the Kessler, a warm grand cru most years and even more so in a year like 2015 (Pinot Gris, a low-acid, thin-skinned variety that ripens fast, does not usually perform well in very hot years). This wine’s back label reads “medium-dry” on Schlumberger’s four-point dry-sweet scale (which runs from dry to medium-dry to medium-sweet to sweet).”
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.
Spiegel is the fourth Grand Cru produced from the Schlumberger vineyards. It lies on sandy-clay and faces east. It stretches out halfway up the slope between Guebwiller and Bergholtz at an altitude of 260 to 315 meters. It is also the smallest in production with only 12 acres. It is primarily comprised of pinot gris, with vines that are 12 years old on average. 1998 was the first vintage made of this wine.
The grapes are picked by hand and whole bunches are pressed. There is static settling of the lees. The wine is fermented in temperature-controlled tuns, followed by raising on the lees for eight months.
The robe is bright golden yellow with light reflections of good intensity. The disk is bright, limpid and transparent. The nose is marked, pleasant and intense, showing sophisticated scents of yellow fruits, quince, plum, honey, button mushrooms and a light smokiness. The nose reflects the excellent quality of the raw material. The profile is both typical and surprisingly mineral. The tasty balance, marked by the exposure to sunlight of the vintage, is very fine and elegant.
Pairs beautifully with a bacon and Roquefort cheese quiche, a pan-fried duck foie gras, or a soft rind-washed cheese. Suggested serving temperature is 54°F.
Varietals: 100% Pinot Gris
Wine Alcohol: 13.62%
Titratable Acidity: 2.92%
Residual Sugar: 24.91 g/L
Suggested Retail Price: $29.00