A great white wine for laying down, semi-dry to mellow. Often displays impressive levels of richness, concentration and mineral expression, with a purity that commands respect. Noble rot almost always present. Peppery, even smoky nose. Verticality masked by the body, mineral expression.
The SCHOENENBOURG hill, famous since the Middle Ages, is the brightest gem of all the RIQUEWIHR vineyards. This site has been the birthplace of all the great wines of this town and is the reason for Riquewihr’s almost universal renown.
It has a very specific topography, facing south, located at a valley entrance with a steep slope and his geology formed of Keuper marl which is a rough mixture of indescent and gypsum marls covered by laryers of Vosgian sandstone. The combination of a light, airy, friable topsoil on a clay based, fertile substratum with good water retention properties, accounts for the fact that the personality of the Schoenenbourg wines is dominated more by their native soil than by their variety.
Because of the proximity to the Vosgian Fault, the micro-climate of Schoenenbourg is quite cold, late, suited to a slow, difficult maturing of grapes and the frequent development of Noble Rot.
However, Schoenenbourg produces wines which age well with outstanding body and richness, and characteristics not common for this type of wine: a nose with a hint of pepper or even a smoky aroma similar to a Tokay, a light acidity hidden by the fullness of its body, and a mineral nature not evident when young but developing fossil traces in time.
Finally, it can assimilate high potentials of residual sugars, because there is almost always Noble Rot. The Schoenenbourg wines are among the Very Great Wines of Alsatian Soils.
Tasted in the dark:
Finally...Mathias Grünewald, no doubt! Only in Schoenenbourg is such a wine produced... a kind of Issenheim Altarpiece in a bottle.
Shellfish and iodine-rich foods (lobster, spiny lobster). Fatted chicken, capon, noble fish and caviar after ten years of ageing.
Field-blending of all the Alsatian grapes.
Great white wine for laying down semi-dry to mellow.
25 to 40 years.
Keuper marl and gypsum. Southern exposure, located in the bottom of a valley, very steep slope.