Ribeauville, Alsace France
The Kientzler domaine is a small family run estate consisting of just 12 hectares of vines, of which 3.7 hectares are classified as “Grand Cru”. These special sites have been identified over the past 300 years as the region’s best. They produce some truly amazing wines. One of the best wines I have ever tried is a Riesling from this estate- The 2008 Riesling Grand cru “Geisberg”. It is expensive, but worth every cent. These wines make up a tiny percentage of the 6000 case production, so it is with the village wines of Riesling, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc that the estate is judged on year after year.
These guys are at the top of their game and right in the heart of the region along with all the big boys of Alsace, including Trimbach and Hugel.
Pinot Blanc is a wine that is pretty unique to Alsace, which is now the most planted varietal in the region. When it is given the focus and effort it deserves, it is a racy wine that is just a joy to drink. A versatile wine not far in style from a Chablis (a leaner Chardonnay). As previously stated, Pinot Blanc can be a blend of Pinot Blanc and Auxerrois and this wine is mainly made from the Auxerrois grape variety.
The grapes are hand harvested from a number of vineyards around the village of Ribeauville. After pressing, fermentation takes place in temperature-controlled barrels or vats (at 18 to 24°C). The wine is racked just once, before natural clarification during the course of the winter. The wine is lightly filtered just before bottling.
It is lively and fragrant with lovely fruit and floral aromas on the nose. You then get these mineral notes, which are flinty with hints of almond and lime. The wine has
- A dry finish with a full bodied palate. Youthful but full of promise.