Grand Cru Kitterlé Riesling 2017 – Domaine Schlumberger.
For this review we are taking you to France’s beautiful Alsace region. A region that has terroir written all-over and features beautiful Grand Cru’s that produce equally beautiful wines. The focus in this review lies on the Grand Cru Kitterlé, when we will discuss a 2017 Grand Cru Kitterlé Riesling, produced by one of the region’s famous producers Domaine Schlumberger.
About the Grand Cru
Most people may not know of the Kitterlé Grand Cru. While the Alsace lovers will certainly have fond memories of this grand cru. This grand cru is also considered something like a historic monument. This history of more than 10 centuries is translated into the glass. Germanic mythology writes of the magician god Odin who made the Guebwiller valley’s soils fertile. At a certain moment, his foot was hurt by a wild boar and he started bleeding. From the blood that followed, Odin made a flower grow from every drop of blood that was spilt. This led to an abundance of flowers on the slopes and ultimately created for a terroir made for grapes. Over the centuries, this vineyard has been perpetually planted with vines. For so long now, that we can easily say that the Kitterlé vineyard has been planted with vines for more than 10 centuries.
A legend states that a tomcat used to live here and in the area of Upper Saering. This tomcat had such a mischievous spirit that it could be felt throughout the entire area. The Schwab name for tomcat is Kuter, which may have changed throughout the years to the vineyard being called Kitterlé.
Another version speaks of a man named Kütterle. A man who was a poor viticulturist who may have been the first one bold enough to get up the hill and plant vines upon it. He tried hard to make vines thrive here, and he was mocked by the society of its days. Other people felt sorry for him though. Kütterle was a man who got more motivated to keep working the more people mocked him. He planted more vines, made terraces and put his hard work in. Throughout his entire time of working hard on this hill, he was mocked. However, after a while it seemed that the vineyard would produce wines that would be compared to the fine wines from the region. Together with Kessler and Saering, Kitterlé was deemed to be the pinnacle of vineyards in the area.
As you may have guessed, the grand cru is volcanic one. Poor volcanic and sandstone soils mark this territory, just above Guebwiller with an altitude of 270 up to 360 meters. This is quite a steep Grand Cru; hence terraces were built as the slope is 45 degrees. As a lot of Alsace’s grand crus, it faces south to south east and south west, equaling ultimate sun exposure. The work is difficult upon this hill, leading to premium wines treated with great care.
Kitteré has been one of Domaines Schlumberger’s wines since 1830, they are truly the expert when it comes to this grand cru.
About the Wine
In the glass you will see a nice lemon colour. Developing only slightly, with aromas that would be intensely citrusy, like grapefruit and lemon zest. This combines with plenty minerality, wet stone, volcanic stones and flowers. The note that we personally love is petroleum. The palate is naturally dry, with medium crispy Riesling acidity, a medium body and very textured mouthfeel. In the mouth you will find something spicy like ginger, and again that citrusy freshness of tangerine and lemon zest as well as passion fruit. The finish is long and keeps on giving. We award this outstanding Riesling with a whooping 94 points.
Interesting fact: While some still think that Alsace Riesling is sweet this wine has a low sugar of 0.48 g/l! Something not all wines can say.
Taste date: May 2023
Score: 94/100 DWA Score
Website: Domaine Schlumberger