From: Alsace, France
Taste: In 2015, Schoech acquired 0.2 hectares of Riesling in this coveted Grand Cru located in Kientzheim, in the heart of the valley of Kaysersberg. The soil composition of Furstentum is limestone based, instead of the granitic rock found in their Grand Cru Kaefferkopf. Furstentum is south facing with superb exposure to the sun and the vines sit on a steep slope with a 37% angle that offers excellent drainage. Forceful but elegant and intensely aromatic, this riesling is broad on the palate, with a clean citrus toned minerality providing a searingly dry and persistent finish—a wonderful and particularly age worthy companion to an already impressive duo of Rieslings produced at the domaine.
Pairing: “Situated next to Germany and above Switzerland, the Alsace region occupies a unique geographical (and geological) space that's ideal for winemaking. Thirteen distinct types of soil—from volcanic to limestone to clay—make the terroir and styles of wines produced here incredibly varied. The climate is sunny, dry, and perfect for slow-ripening, which produces the complex, balanced wines Alsace is known for. Of the 39,536 acres of vineyards, 35 percent are certified organic or biodynamic, or in the process of converting.”
“The region's proximity to French, German, and Swiss cultures means the wines produced there pair well with all the rich food traditions of the area. Think: nutty Alpine-style cheeses, tangy sauerkraut, slow-cooked chicken, homemade sausages, and soft baked pretzels. And because they're so versatile and food-friendly, wines from Alsace also taste lovely with dishes from other cultures (pad thai, tacos al pastor, linguine with clams, you name it).” - from “This French Region Has a Wine for Every Wintry Pairing”
By Madison Trapkin in partnership with Wines of Alsace, published December 16th, 2022.
White Lasagna with Swiss Chard, Leeks, and Gruyère
About. Many thanks to importer Rosenthal Wine Merchant for the following information.
The Schoech family can trace its roots in the vineyards of Ammerschwihr back to 1650.
The Schoech family can trace its roots in the vineyards of Ammerschwihr back to 1650. Artifacts from their heritage are on proud display in their cellar in the village of Ammerschwihr. The current estate was established in 1971 on the edge of the village and retains the name Maurice Schoech, although today the domaine is run by his sons, Jean-Léon and Sebastien Schoech.
The estate produces 25 different cuvées from 11 hectares of vines, 70% of which are located in prime hillside locations and harvested manually. All of the parcels are in and around Ammerschwihr except for one 0.5 ha plot in the famed Rangen de Thann vineyard, which is 15km south of the village. Including this little gem, a total of four hectares are planted in Grand Cru vineyards, with about 2.5 hectares in Kaefferkopf and 1 hectare in Mambourg.
The renown of the Kaefferkopf vineyard can be traced back to 1832, when the first bottles bearing its name were produced. It was not designated “Grand Cru” until 2007, when it became the 51st vineyard in Alsace to receive this classification. It is one of only two Grand Cru vineyards where a blend of grape varieties is permitted, along with the Altenberg site in Bergheim. The domaine’s Rangen de Thann plot is, in fact, planted to Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer and Riesling; the wine is a blend of those varieties and therefore the wine is not labeled Grand Cru, bearing simply the proprietary name “Harmonie R” instead.
The general details:
FARMING. Certified organic by Ecocert since 2014, with some biodynamic practices, practicing organic long before certification.
TREATMENTS. Only copper sulfate.
PLOUGHING. Annual mechanical ploughing.
SOILS. A panoply of soils, reflecting the geological and topographic diversity of Alsace: mostly limestone-marl, with significant granite, sandstone, and the volcanic Rangen de Thann.
VINES. All trained in Guyot, mostly planted between 5,000-5,500 vines/ha. Vine age ranges from 10-50 years old.
YIELDS. Deleafing and debudding, no green harvesting.
HARVEST. All by hand, harvest usually ranges from the beginning to the end of September.
PURCHASING. Entirely estate fruit.
FERMENTATION. All spontaneous (except the Côtes d’Ammerschwihr and Pinot Auxerrois), and all in stainless steel. Fermentation lasts 1-3 months.
EXTRACTION. Wines see no maceration and very little bâtonnage during ageing.
PRESSING. Direct, whole-cluster, pneumatic pressing.
PRESS WINE. Ferments with vin de goutte.
MALOLACTIC FERMENTATION. Very rarely occurs, controlled by temperature.
ÉLEVAGE. All wines rest between 6-12 months in stainless steel tanks; grand cru wines age for 2 years in bottle.
LEES. All wines rest sur lie for the majority of their élevages.
FINING & FILTRATION. No fining, kieselguhr (diatomaceous earth) and plate filtration.
SULFUR. Applied after fermentation and at bottling. < 100 mg/l total and 30 mg/l free.
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