The very first Orange wine that Weinbach have produced and it's a blend of 70% Gewurztraminer and 30% Pinot Gris from the Furstentum vineyard. It takes a moment or two for the Gewurztraminer aromatics to dig in and make themselves known as the initial impression is dried orange zest, but soon oriental spice and rose petals come through. Soft fruits, exotic spice, nigella seed and bitter lemon pith sit atop a reasonably tannic framework that would really want some food to offset it. Probably not one for a pre-dinner drink but probably wonderful with a spicy southern French sausage or middle-eastern cuisine.
Named after the “Wine Brook”, a little stream that flows through the estate, Domaine Weinbach was founded by the Capucin monks in 1612. The house is surrounded by the original 9th Century monastic vineyard, the Clos du Capucin and all of the estate’s wines are now labelled with its name. Two Faller brothers acquired the estate in 1898 and this was duly inherited by Théo Faller. Sadly Théo died in 1979 leaving his estate in the safe hands of a Faller Triumvirate: his wife Colette and his two daughters, Cathy and Laurence – who all contributed to the continued development of Théo’s great legacy. Tragically Laurence died in 2014, far too young at just 47. And then under a year later, Colette too passed away. Alsace had lost two of its most important figures in as many years. Today Cathy is joined by her two sons Eddy and Theo, so the outlook for the domaine looks stable. Staggeringly Domaine Weinbach owns 26 hectares of vineyards in the Kaysersberg valley in the Haut-Rhin of Alsace at between 200 to 400 metres above sea level. They grow their vineyards organically with a view to quality rather than quantity and hand pick the grapes. Only their grapes are vinified (unlike many other producers in Alsace who frequently have to buy them in). Ageing is best described as passive, carried out in huge old oak fuders, allowing each vineyard and each specific terroir, along with the other unique characteristics of grape and vintage, to shimmer through these elegant and sophisticated wines.