From 40 year old vines on the mid-slope of Schlossberg, this is more closed than the straight Schlossberg, but there is an extra level of power and rich extract on display. The flavours on the palate are intense and tight, yet still show wonderful precision with a stony mineral core and fine citrus highlights. As ever, a wine to be layed down and forgotten about for a few years. Only 4 grams of residual sugar. Serious stuff from the prime plot of the first ever Alsatian Grand Cru.
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 contribute to the continued development of Théo’s great legacy. 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. Each vineyard has its own specific terroir which, along with the other unique characteristics of grape and vintage, shimmer through these elegant and sophisticated wines thanks to their passive ageing in large old oak fuders.
Alsace Grand Cru is an Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée for wines made in the Alsace wine region of France. The Grand Cru AOC is the top quality categorisation of Alsace wine that was first recognized in 1975 by Appellation Contrôlée governing body with subsequent expansion in 1983, 1992 and 2007. The wines come from selected sites in the Alsace region, located at altitudes between 200m and 300m. Alsace Grand Cru wines must be produced from yields of 65hl/ha or less and the wine must come from a single named vineyard which will must be listed on the label. Currently 51 named vineyards are listed as Grand Cru, the latest addition being Kaefferkopf of Ammerschwihr in January 2007.