Domaines Schlumberger Riesling Grand Cru Saering
May 28, 2018, James Suckling
“Very citrusy and herbal with a hint of wild berries. This is a sleek and tightly wound dry riesling with a serious acidity structure for the hot vintage. If that sounds good to you, this wine has a lot to give right through the long mineral finish. Drink or hold.”
May 2018, Ian D'Agata
“Vivid luminous straw-yellow with golden tinges. Aromas of apricot, overripe nectarine, orange oil and dried fig, plus a whiff of iodine. Clean, savory and saline, but offering ultimately slightly simple flavors of honeycomb, apple and apricot nectar. An acid spine conveys a rigid quality. Finishes with a little alcohol-derived warmth on the back end, and without the lightness and daintiness of Schlumberger’s great 2015 Kitterlé Riesling. In fairness to this wine, I am almost never a fan of the Saering, and it’s no different this time around. The back label reads “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.
First mentioned in 1250, the Saering plot slips from the hill and extends like a peninsula on the plain, forming a sort of tongue of land in the form of a ring. It has been sold under its own since 1830. To the north of Guebwiller, Saering faces east and south-east at an altitude of ranging from 260 to 300 meters. The Saering marl, limestone, and sandstone terroir brings out the best in this magnificent, fine, delicate Riesling.
The grapes were harvested by hand and the bunches were pressed whole. Static settling of the lees occurred. Fermentation took place in temperature-controlled tuns between one and four months. The wine was raised on the lees for eight months.
The robe is bright golden yellow with green reflections of good intensity. The disk is bright, limpid and transparent. The wine shows youth. The nose is marked, pleasant and intense, with fresh and fruity scents: citrus fruit, lemon zest, lime and white flowers. The airing enhances the previous scents and evolves into something more ripe (blood orange) and exotic (papaya) with a very noble mineral and smoky touch. The complex profile of the terroir needs time to express itself and flourish.
Pairs beautifully with tempura calamari with crispy vegetables, an Asian-flavored salmon fillet, a lobster tail with citrus fruit, as well as a goat’s milk cheese. Serve at the suggested temperature of 54°F.
Varietals: 100% Riesling
Wine Alcohol: 14.01%
Titratable Acidity: 4.34 g/L
Residual Sugar: 4.28 g/L
Suggested Retail Price: $29.00